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Our Man in New York (30. 11. 2017)

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. How is contemporary Czech literature faring in the big, mercilessly competitive world of literature in English? Writer Jáchym Topol conducted the debate with his translator.

Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Václav Havel’s Prague