The Czech Literary Centre (CLC), a section of the Moravian Library, has been promoting Czech literature abroad since its establishment in 2017, especially in the countries of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It has long supported foreign translators of Czech literature and Czech studies specialists – in the five years of its existence, for example, it has organised almost one hundred residencies in Prague and Brno for them.
For the Czech Literary Centre, 2022 will be a year focused on literary translation. The aim is to offer even more support to translators (both foreign and domestic) and increase awareness of their work and mission. Many activities will relate to the International Translation Day (September 30). The CLC will support translation workshops, debates on translation, and book readings by both authors and translators at foreign and Czech universities and book fairs (e.g. Book World Prague). Translators living in the Czech Republic will also be newly offered summer residencies at the Broumov Monastery (click HERE for more information).
The flagship project will be a group residency in Komařice near České Budějovice. The CLC will select a new book by an established Czech writer and invite five translators from various countries, who have been focusing on the author’s work for a long time, to the Czech Republic for two weeks in September. In addition to meeting the author of the book during their stay, each of the translators will translate an excerpt from the selected book and will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with the other translators in attendance.
At the same time, the Czech Literary Centre wants to support the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2022 by organising events for translators. Therefore at least one of the planned discussions on translation will take place directly in Brussels. In Belgium, the CLC is also planning other projects with foreign partners (Passa Porta, Creative Europe, CEATL, FIT, CC Brussels, and others).
On the occasion of the Czech Presidency, the Moravian Library and the Czech Literary Centre will publish an anthology featuring essays by five European intellectuals on Central Europe. The starting point for the discussion in the book will be Milan Kundera’s 1983 essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe”. The anthology will be published in three languages, its editor being the director of the Moravian Library, Prof. Tomáš Kubíček.
In addition to supporting the prestigious Josef Jungmann Award for the best translation into Czech, the Czech Literary Centre will continue its successful cooperation with the Czech Literary Translators’ Guild, the Czech Union of Interpreters and Translators, and Czech Translators of the North, and will also focus intensively on the Susanna Roth Award for emerging translators. This year, together with the Czech Centres, it will organise two workshops for the 2021 and 2022 winners of this competition.
The CLC is also planning a joint project with H7O magazine, which will publish articles by leading Czech translators every month. The regular “Monthly Features” and the ongoing CLC podcast “Behind the Books” will also focus on literature in translation (the first episode of this year’s podcast featured translators Anežka Charvátová and Michal Švec – you can listen to the interview and other episodes HERE).
The Czech Literary Centre will keep you informed about these and other upcoming activities on the CzechLit website, in its newsletter, and on social media throughout the year.