Asleep at the Wheel

By avoiding the blog this weekend, I missed two stories about Czech lit. Thank goodness Moorishgirl linked to them or I would have missed them altogether.

1. Here's a link to a long profile of a writer whom I liked in university, but who has since joined the ranks of most overrated writers ever: Ivan Klíma. Do me a favor, don't buy the book. Instead, write to his English-language publisher and tell the lovely folks there to stop imposing Cold-War-era aesthetics values on you. Suggest establishing a fund for Klíma to honor his admittedly admirable political record during normalization and to prevent him from publishing again. Then suggest that they translate and publish some good Czech fiction. I nominate: Daniela Hodrová, Věra Linhartová, Milada Součková, and Michal Ajvaz. If you can't wait for these fine authors to be translated into English and published, the only sop I can really throw you off the top of my head is out of print, but should you see Jachym Topol's Angel Exit in a used bookstore somewhere, buy it.

2. A link to a brief piece on one of the most overrated Czech films of all time: Closely Watched Trains. Although, should someone watch it and then go out and read some Hrabal, all's good. -Zh.


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