Czech literature in the Spanish literary magazine Quimera

The monthly magazine has published a supplement devoted to contemporary Czech literature.

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The magazine cover designed by Czech illustrator Jaromír 99. Photo: Pavel Růžička

The magazine cover designed by Czech illustrator Jaromír 99. Photo: Pavel Růžička

Having already focused on Ecuadorian, African and Japanese literature, the Barcelona literary monthly Quimera – Revista de Literatura has turned its attention to Czech literature. The thirty pages of the 450th edition published in June of this year featured a wide range of texts, from articles on Czech prose and comics to a selection of contemporary poetry.

The edition was the brainchild of the Czech Literary Centre, a division of the Moravian Library, which also provided financial support. The issue was compiled by Kateřina Chromková from the Czech Literary Centre with the help of the translator Enrique Gutiérrez Rubio and the poet Mario Martín Gijón.

An introduction to the supplement is given by Enrique Gutiérrez Rubio. In the first article, the literary theorist Alena Šidáková Fialová presents an overview of Czech prose after 1989. This is followed by an interview with Jáchym Topol carried out by the sociologist and literary critic Jan Váňa. To accompany the interview, there is an extract from Topol’s novel City, Silver, Sister (1994), which has not yet been published in Spain, translated by Kepa Uharte.

Jan Váňa’s interview with Jáchym Topol in Quimera magazine. Photo: Pavel Růžička

Jan Váňa’s interview with Jáchym Topol in Quimera magazine. Photo: Pavel Růžička

The supplement also incorporates one of the closing chapters from a book by the poet and architect Anna Beata Háblová entitled The Non-Spaces of Cities (2019) in a translation by Daniel Ordóñez. A contribution by the comics theoretician Pavel Kořínek provides a summary of the genesis of modern Czech comics and its major milestones to date. The poet Jan Škrob characterizes the main trends in poetry from the youngest generation of Czech poets.

To round things off, there is a diverse selection of Czech poetry including poems by Pavel Kolmačka (trans. Jorge Nicolás Lucero), Petr Borkovec (trans. Enrique Gutiérrez Rubio), Milan Děžinský (trans. Patricia Gonzalo de Jesús), Olga Stehlíková (trans. Elena Buixaderas), Jitka N. Srbová (trans. Elena Buixaderas), Jonáš Zbořil (trans. Enrique Gutiérrez Rubio) and Magdalena Šipka (trans. Patricia Gonzalo de Jesús).

Poems by Olga Stehlíková and Jitka N. Srbová in Quimera magazine. Photo: Pavel Růžička

Poems by Olga Stehlíková and Jitka N. Srbová in Quimera magazine. Photo: Pavel Růžička

The magazine cover was designed by the Czech comics artist and illustrator Jaromír 99.

The Czech Literary Centre in conjunction with the magazine’s editorial staff are planning to present the issue in Barcelona in the autumn, with an author’s reading and the participation of several of the authors.

The magazine can be purchased in print or digital format HERE.

Quimera – Revista de Literatura is a Barcelona-based magazine focusing mainly on literary criticism. It was founded in 1980 by Miguel Riera Montesinos and is published monthly in print and digital format. The editorial for the first issue was written by the world-famous Mexican essayist and recipient of the Noble Prize for Literature Octavio Paz. Over the years the magazine has also featured Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes, José Saramago, Susan Sontag and William S. Burroughs, as well as Milan Kundera. The current editor-in-chief is Jordi Gol.

CzechLit