Pavel Göbl

Pavel Göbl

Screenwriter, director, novelist. He has won several film awards and one Magnesia Litera for discovery of the year 2008. He won the Kodak Prize for Otevřená krajina svobodného muže (Opened Landscape of a Lonely Man, best film of the year 1998) and the Pavel Juráček Prize for screenplay. He then incorporated this into Radhošť (Radegast), a collection of short films which won the Don Quixote Prize at the Finále Festival in Plzeň. He was born on 7 April 1967 in Uherské Hradiště.

Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
4 Plastic Bags (4 igelitky) Dauphin 2015
The Penis of Truth 2012 (Penis pravdy 2012) Dauphin 2010
The Quiet Companion (Tichý společník) Dauphin 2008  2009 Magnesia Litera – Discovery of the year
4 igelitky
4 Plastic Bags
4 igelitky
The Penis of Truth 2012
Penis pravdy 2012
Tichý společník
The Quiet Companion
Tichý společník
Award Year Country
Magnesia Litera – Discovery of the year 2009 Česká republika
Pavel Göbl’s prose has moved on to the Hrabalian poetic of the naive, small, though in a heroic sense great “gentle barbarians” and their everyday lives.
—Jan M. Heller

He wrote the screenplay for the television films Javorový guláš (Maple Goulash, 2001), Šťáva (Juice, 2004) and Balíci (Packaging, 2005). He followed these up with the feature-length film Ještě žiju s věšákem, plácačkou a čepicí (Sill Alive with Hanger, Rapper and Cap, 2005), which was written by Göbel and Roman Švejda based on the play by René Levínský. There then came a romantic comedy set on a golf course, Veni, vidi, vici (2009) and the fairy tale Kovář z Podlesí (The Blacksmith from Woodham, 2013). His fourth feature film, Odborný dohled nad východem Slunce (Sunrise Supervising, 2014), was met with acclaim by the critics. It’s an “Eastern” set on the Czech border, where three older men seek revenge, though they are no longer capable of carrying it out.

Göbel’s prose work comes from his screenplays or vice versa and he writes screenplays based on novels. His literary debut, Tichý společník (The Quiet Companion, Dauphin, 2008), surprisingly received a nomination for the Josef Škvorecký Award and the Magnesia Litera 2008 in the category of discovery of the year. The former film screenwriter became a witness to the traumas of fortysomethings: “The structure of Quiet Companion is appropriately bizarre. In the book we find agro-tourists from Prague, a local idiot – the Israeli terrorist Mira Malina, someone who invents the idea of burying people standing, Lenka an aloof fourtysomething who does Tai-chi every morning, and the naïve, primitive painter Fanda, who draws postcards with crayons. But this whole absurd group conceals quite a powerful sadness and melancholy which comes from the book,” wrote poet Jakub Řehák.

This was followed by the book Penis pravdy 2012 (Penis of Wisdom, Dauphin, 2012) with the subtitle Nejpokleslejší verze apokalypsy od časů Bible (The Most Trashy Version of the Apocalypse since Biblical Times), in which the author conceived the idea of a classic fairy tale with Jan Drda narrating the story of Dařbuján and Pandrhola, where a normal person can become immortal. In Göbel’s book three people immediately acquire it – two workers and a prostitute – who have to set out on a pilgrimage beyond death. The author makes many comments about the 1990s when the story is set, as well as the characters’ archetypes, their lives and dreams. The book was nominated for the Josef Škvorecký Award.

The collection 4 igelitky (Four Plastic Bags, Dauphin, 2015) is based on the film Sunrise Supervising, though other strands are added to it. In a stolen hippy’s van are found four plastic bags which contain books about Winnetou, the Native American hero from Karel May’s westerns, and superficially there is the discovery that life isn’t like westerns, where you can clearly distinguish between good and evil.

Notable awards
 2009 Magnesia Litera – Discovery of the year