Some outstanding literary works are being written in Czech, not only in the Czech Republic, but also elsewhere all over the world. This small language and literature, which just a few years ago might have appeared doomed, is now at a time of deepening crisis in European culture acquiring new significance. Places on the periphery, such as the Czech Republic out on the “Eastern margins of the European West” act as reservoirs from which fresh impetus can emerge. A historically based scepticism, a satirical view of the world and the centuries-old ability to grasp and understand goings-on in the East, and everything that can be summarized under the idea of “Central Europe” is of immense value in this new situation; a small literature on the periphery does not only bring with it shoddy work and backlogs, but also individuality and an opportunity not to come under commercial pressures. Could this even mean that one can create and think more freely in Czech?
We wish to help as many readers as possible to be able to answer that question.
CzechLit – Czech Literature Online promotes Czech literature. The site content targets three groups of users: readers, translators and foreign publishers. Thanks to our carefully thought-out menu system the members of these different groups with different preferences are offered appropriate content.
Our interests focus on books, particularly newly published ones in Czech and recently published translations. As for the authors, these are divided into two groups, the first one being those who have been selected by the CzechLit editorial board. These are the authors who in our opinion are creating contemporary Czech literature. They were selected in accordance with the following criteria: they are authors who in the view of the editorial board have the capacity to appeal to the foreign reader, as well as authors who show considerable literary quality, and not least authors whose merit can be seen in terms of their distinctive individuality, all assuming they are contemporary, productive authors.
Apart from an overview of books and authors we also offer you information on events associated with Czech literature, as well as a more extensive “Topic of the Month”. All the other features can be found in the left-hand column.
The CzechLit project is financed by the Czech Ministry of Culture and is managed by the Arts and Theatre Institute (Institut umění/Divadelní ústav). As for the content, we are independent of any commercial and other interests.
Should you have any other queries regarding CzechLit operations, please do not hesitate to contact us here.
David Zábranský, CzechLit Editor-in-Chief