Czech bluegrass has a long tradition going back to the 1960s but it took several more decades before it was acknowledged in the land of its origin, the United States. Our guest in this edition of One on One is Robert Křesťan, the banjoist, lead singer and the founder of a bluegrass legend, the band Druhá Tráva, formed in the early 1990s. Their latest album Dylanovky, features songs by Bob Dylan translated into Czech by Robert Křesťan, and he and his band set the scene before the public speech of the US President, Barack Obama at Prague Castle earlier
“Patience with God”, a new book by Tomáš Halík, a Catholic priest and a renowned Czech theologian, has been put out by the US publisher Doubleday and hit the bookshelves in English-speaking countries around the world. A reflection on faith and atheism, “Patience with God” will be officially launched at the seat of the UN in New York on Tuesday. Radio Prague spoke to Mr Halík about some of the issues he deals with in his latest work.
Comic books and graphic novels have increased greatly in popularity in the Czech Republic over the last ten years, which saw release of both mainstream and avant garde titles, both classic as well as lesser-known authors. On the domestic scene artists also began to emerge, writers such as Jaroslav Rudiš and illustrators like Jaroslav 99, who collaborated on the celebrated graphic novel White Brook. In today’s Arts, another Czech duo: screenwriters Džian Baban and Vojtěch Mašek, authors of a phantasmagoric trilogy focusing on the adventures and
Czech bishops have criticized a new translation of the Bible that came out last week. Entitled the Bible – a 21st century translation, its ambition is to present Biblical texts in contemporary language easily comprehensible to the broad public. But Czech bishops point out that the new translation cannot be used in some Catholic services.
This week Czech Books is looking at the novel Mrchopěvci, or Gravelarks, the first novel by the hugely accomplished polymath and polyglot author Václav Pinkava, who wrote - amongst others - under the pen name Jan Křesadlo. Pinkava was born in Prague in 1926 and emigrated to Britain in 1969 where he worked as a clinical psychologist in Colchester. Gravelarks was his first novel, written during his early retirement; it was hailed by author Josef Škvorecký as "one of the most original, shocking, truthful works of contemporary Czech fiction" and was
Jiří Jírů developed a love for photography from his uncle, the avant-garde Czech photographer Václav Jírů, before studying the discipline in Brussels and working for US publications such as Time and Newsweek. In the course of his career, Jiří Jírů has snapped celebrities ranging from the Bee Gees to Queen Elizabeth II, and spent almost a decade working as President Václav Havel’s official photographer. Jírů divides his time between Prague and Brussels, which is where he found himself on August 21, 1968:
Before the Second World War, the Czech capital was home to several ethnic groups – the Czechs, the Germans, and the Jews. Their co-existence in the modern era was often a source of conflict that only deepened after the 1918 foundation of Czechoslovakia. The question of identity in the multi-ethnic environment posed considerable challenges for leading intellectuals of the time; among them was the Prague writer, journalist and composer Max Brod. In this edition of Czechs in History, we talk to the Prague-based French historian Gaelle Vassogne, the
Sally Hawkins received a best actress award at the Golden Globes for her portrayal of a relentlessly positive school teacher in the British film Happy-Go-Lucky. Mike Leigh was nominated for an Oscar for the movie’s screenplay, which is somewhat ironic as his films don’t have scripts as such: the director of Naked and Secrets and Lies sets out a basic premise, which the actors develop through improvisation in rehearsals. At its Czech premiere at the weekend I spoke to Mike Leigh about Happy-Go-Lucky, and his unusual approach to filmmaking.