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Our Man in New York

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  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: November 30, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion with Translator Alex Zucker.

New York native Alex Zucker originally studied zoology and appeared headed for a career as a marine biologist. However, a visit to Prague shortly before the Velvet Revolution became a turning point in his life and he soon learned Czech and embarked on a career as a literary translator. Today he is one of the most prolific Czech to English translators and has won numerous awards for his translations. He has introduced Anglophone readers to the work of writers such as Magdalena Platzová, Tomáš Zmeškal, Patrik Ouředník, Jáchym Topol and Petra Hůlová, whose Three Plastic Rooms, translated by Alex, is coming out this November. How is contemporary Czech literature faring in the big, mercilessly competitive world of literature in English? Writer Jáchym Topol will conduct the debate with his translator.

Alex Zucker is visiting Prague for a Czech Literary Centre residential stay.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„If I consider the problem as that which the world is turning me into – that is, as a tiny screw in a giant machine, deprived of human identity – then there is really nothing I can do. Obviously I cannot put a stop to the destruction of the globe, the growing stupidity of nations and the repoduction of thousands of new thermonuclear bombs. If, however, I consider it as that which each of us originally is, or rahter what each of us – irrespective of the state of the world – has the basic potential to become, which is to say an autonomous human being, capable of acting responsibly to and for the world, then of course there is a great deal I can do.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, March 6, 1982

What Price Human Rights?