The Autumn edition of Prague’s flagship antique market has just finished with exhibitors of high priced paintings, glassware, militaria, and furniture in buoyant spirits on the hopes of high spending Czechs and foreigners coming through the doors. The optimism is fuelled by the fact that many Czechs apparently feel that they have a bit of cash to spare on an antique purchase as leaving the cash in the bank gives a poor return. And foreign buyers too seem to believe that there are bargains and investments to be found.
It is not unusual to come across poets writing in English even if it is not their mother tongue. But for a non-native speaker to write poetry in Czech is rare indeed, and some might say bordering on the masochistic, given the fiendish complexities of the Czech language. But the process can also be very rewarding, both for the poet and the reader. The Romanian poet, Dan Duta has taken up the challenge, as David Vaughan finds out in this week’s Czech Books.
Saturday, November 21, sees the return of Theatre Night in the Czech Republic. In its third year, the countrywide event promises visitors, including families with children, a magical look at how theatres are run and productions staged. For anyone attracted to the theatre stage, this is an event not to be missed.
Among the most important guests at this year’s Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival was Laurent Becue-Renard, who shared his expertise with local documentarians at an Ex Oriente Film workshop. Becue-Renard’s first film War-Wearied, about Bosnian women coping with the aftermath of conflict, was screened before the masterclass. But when we met, I wanted to discuss his most recent work, Of Men and War.