Karol Efraim Sidon

Karol Efraim Sidon

Playwright, scriptwriter, novelist and rabbi. Winner of the Jiří Kolář Prize (1978). His books have been published in Polish and Dutch. He was born in Prague on 9 August 1942.


Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
Outsider Torst 2017
Puzzle Torst 2016
Little Mr Talisman (Malý pan Talisman) Torst 2015
Piano live Torst 2015
Karol Efraim Sidon (Karol Efraim Sidon) Galén 2014
Altschul's Method (Altschulova metoda) Torst 2014
Gates of Frost and Other Proses (Brány mrazu a jiné prózy) Akropolis 2013
Revolts II (Vzpoury II) Galén 2012
Drama (Dramata) Akropolis 2012
Labyrinth. Shapiro. Thirteen Windows (Labyrint. Shapira. Třináct oken (hry)) Větrné mlýny, Brno 2005
Seven Words (7 slov) Dokořán / Jaroslava Jiskrová - Máj 2004
When you die, so in Jerusalem (Když umřít, tak v Jeruzalémě) Mladá fronta 1997
Abraham´s Return (Návrat Abrahamův) Půdorys 1995
The Gospel according Josephus Flavius (Evangelium podle Josefa Flavia) Mladá fronta 1991
God Sting (Boží osten) Československý spisovatel 1991
Thirteen Windows (Třináct oken) Dilia 1990
Tales from Four Drawers (Pohádky ze čtyř šuplíčků) Panorama 1979
A Dream about Me (Sen o mně) Československý spisovatel 1970
Old Men and Clarinets (Starci a klarinety) Orbis 1965
Little Mr Talisman
Malý pan Talisman
Karol Efraim Sidon
Karol Efraim Sidon
Karol Efraim Sidon
Altschul's Method
Altschulova metoda
Gates of Frost and Other Proses
Brány mrazu a jiné prózy
Vzpoury II
Revolts II
Vzpoury II
Dramata
Drama
Dramata
Labyrint. Shapira. Třináct oken (hry)
Labyrinth. Shapiro. Thirteen Windows
Labyrint. Shapira. Třináct oken (hry)
7 slov
Seven Words
7 slov
Když umřít, tak v Jeruzalémě
When you die, so in Jerusalem
Když umřít, tak v Jeruzalémě
Návrat Abrahamův
Abraham´s Return
Návrat Abrahamův
Evangelium podle Josefa Flavia
The Gospel according Josephus Flavius
Evangelium podle Josefa Flavia
Boží osten
God Sting
Boží osten
Třináct oken
Thirteen Windows
Třináct oken
Pohádky ze čtyř šuplíčků
Tales from Four Drawers
Pohádky ze čtyř šuplíčků
Sen o mně
A Dream about Me
Sen o mně
Starci a klarinety
Old Men and Clarinets
Starci a klarinety
Praise
[Altschul's Method] blends the Middle Ages, Judaism, Moses and the secret police, the journeys of souls, prison cells and trips back in time. Something between a monstrous construction by China Mieville and a conspiracy theory arising from Kabbalah.
—Klára Kubíčková
MF Dnes

His father was killed in Terezín, and the holocaust left its mark on the whole family. Sidon studied dramaturgy and scriptwriting at FAMU and worked in radio and on the editorial board of several magazines. Post-1969 he worked in manual occupations and after signing Charter 77 he and his family had to emigrate to Germany.

His debut work was the semi-autobiographical, soul-searching novel Sen o mém otci (A Dream of My Father, Československý spisovatel, 1968) and the similarly-themed Sen o mě (A Dream of Me, Čs. spisovatel, 1970); he wrote the former when he was only 26 years old. The book is about the search for one’s own place in the world in the shadow of the tragic Jewish experience.

His theatre plays were also of great importance. Several Czech theatres staged the story of the Jewish antiques dealer Shapira (1972) or the legendary Latríny (The Latrines, 1971), set in a refugee camp, whose legendary premiere was held in secret in the Rubín studio. A number of them went on to be produced as radio plays – a total of five dramas in the period between 1966 and 1970, including Samotka (Solitary Confinement) directed by Antonín Moskalyk. His plays were published in several anthologies such as Labyrint. Shapira. Třináct oken (Labyrinth. Shapira. Thirteen Windows, Větrné mlýny, 2005), and in a complete collection as Dramata (Dramas, Akropolis, 2012).

Brány mrazu a jiné prózy (The Gates of Frost and Other Prose, Akropolis, 2013) presented a collection of Sidon’s most important works of prose.

Under the pseudonym Chaim Cigan he wrote the tetralogy Kde lišky dávají dobrou noc (Out in the Sticks), of which the first three volumes have been published so far –  Altschulova metoda (Altschul’s Method), Piano live and Puzzle (Torst, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017). Here he came up with a superb blend of Jewish teachings and philosophy, dreams, visiting aliens, and even a touch of detective work. “In any case, he deserves attention for the way he links together different spheres, both the physical and the supremely spiritual,” writes Jan Lukavec on iLiteratura.cz.