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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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Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay

„The overall question, then, is this: What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today? I fear that the baneful effects on society will outlast by many years the particular political interests that gave rise to them. So much more guilty, in the eyes of history, are those who have sacrificed the country’s spiritual future for the sake of their present power interests.“

Václav Havel:
Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay, April 8, 1975

The unbearable lightness of evilVáclav Havel’s Prague