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Lost in Translation

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 14, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

There are times when you are walking in the forest early in the morning and you repeat those short lines to yourself and suddenly something goes off in your mind and you see the world through the author’s eyes. You make a leap into another life, like when lightning lights up the landscape at night. It’s one of the most wonderful feelings I know.” Jaroslav Kořán

There is a prevalent myth that Czech literary translation has a long tradition and is of very high quality. But what about the present? The ranks of young literary translators are if anything thinning. Why? Have they got issues with conditions surrounding contemporary Czech literary work? Fees that haven’t changed in 20 years? An overcrowded literary market where buying ads on the Metro is the only way to make an impression? What do the organisations in the field (the Translators Community and the Interpreters and Translators Union) actually do? What is the vision of contemporary literary translation?

The evening will be hosted by Tereza Semotamová.

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Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

What Price Human Rights?