The first volume of a monumental diary work by the world-famous Czech film director of the New Wave, which is an important record of the communist era in Europe and a unique chronicle of the past.
Of the quarter-century of diaries of film director, scriptwriter and writer Pavel Juráček, only an abridged edition depicting the 1960s was published 14 years ago, becoming a hit with readers and selling out immediately. This re-publication of the monumental diary depicts life in Czechoslovakia over the course of thirty years and then in exile in the Federal Republic of Germany. The first volume of the planned four-volume publication contains records from 1948 till 1956. This monumental work documents the adverse epoch in its entire scope. The value of Juráček’s work is, however, not only documentary, but also highly artistic – Juráček was a writer with a unique story-telling talent and a sense for dramatic situations, descriptions and dialogue. He was convinced he had to address his hand-written diaries to future historians, to us. In his diary, he is survived by an immensely impressive work of the utmost literary quality, documenting the creative rises and falls of an artist in the time of so called real socialism.
“The perfect probe into the absurd world in which millions of Czechoslovaks lived. […] From the astonishing quantity of personal experiences and impressions, of which Juráček kept records with an obsessive energy basically day after day, sentences keep appearing between lines, all giving a unique report not only about his life, but the lives of thirteen million people who were with him “in the same boat” at that time.”
—Jan H. Vitvar, Respekt
“It reveals how complex Juráček’s bountiful, vulnerable and helpless personality was. He also presents a picture of the time, free of any idealisation – and ideologization.”
—Marek Toman, Lidové noviny
About the author
Pavel Juráček (1935–1989), a screenwriter, dramatist and director, journalist, prose and poem writer, and significant representative of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s, studied journalism and the Czech language, but because of his bohemian nature he was expelled from university. Later, he studied dramaturgy at the FAMU film school and started, in parallel, to make films. He worked with the Barrandov Film Studios and contributed to films by some of the most outstanding Czech directors of the 1960s and 70s. With the onset of the harsh normalisation era, he was dismissed. He was the only Czech film-maker to sign the Charter 77 anti-regime initiative and was banned from pursuing artistic activities. He temporarily worked in exile in West Germany, returned to his homeland in 1983 and died in May 1989.