We know that Jan Žižka was brave and brave, but no one says that he was wise, says historian Čornej – ČT24 – Czech Television

Petr Čornej spent his childhood in Prague’s Žižkov, under a monumetal statue of the warrior Jan Žižka on horseback, which rises on top of Vítkov Hill. “It was a motivation for me, an inspiration to get to know the real Žižka, he was the hero of my childhood,” says the historian.

“And I must say that Žižka was my ideal hero, but as I began to study it, I found that the personality is much more contradictory, but of course large, charismatic, but also largely problematic,” he added.

Historical science is evolving, and with the methods and approaches that were in force in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, historians can hardly suffice. According to Čornej, the knowledge of the medieval mentality has shifted above all, more is known about the way of thinking and thinking at the time, and therefore it is possible to say, for example, what kind of person Žižka was, what his mental foundation was.

“We know that Žižka was a brave and brave man, he was temperamental, but we know that he is never characterized by words as wise or prudent. But only these qualities, such as wisdom, foresight, prudence, made man perfect, along with that bravery and bravery. These are the qualities that an ideal nobleman, a ruler and an ideal military leader should have had, ”explains Čornej.

However, according to him, the fact that he was wise and far-sighted was not written about Žižek even by those who knew him and had a positive attitude towards him. “This in itself shows that Žižka was only half an ideal knight in the medieval sense,” he adds.

Although it is a great shortcoming, this great military leader was able to deal with it. According to the historian, he was also a brilliant improviser and had charisma. “And that gave him authority, so his warriors followed him,” he said.

However, Žižka’s whole life cannot be affected, because according to the stories, the source base is narrow and mainly concerns the last five years of his life, when he appeared on the great historical scene. What was before he emerged remains largely a mystery.

“We know roughly what he did in the years 1378-1384, that is, when he was 18 to 25, but then he disappeared from the sources for twenty years, only to appear around 1406 as a member of combat groups that moved beyond the law. When I wondered how it is possible that he fell out of the sources for twenty years, the only explanation I can think of is that he worked somewhere abroad as a mercenary, as a soldier, “describes Čornej.

Few documents, rare testimonies

It is not easy to find Žižka himself in contemporary literature either. The transcripts of his name are different. And its true form is not known either. According to the historian, there are ten of them available. But none of them is a portrait, a faithful depiction of Jan Žižka. There are often no portraits of many rulers from that time. “But in the case of Sigismund of Luxembourg, for example, we have several dozen of those portraits. However, this is not the case with Žižka or Hus, where we can only speculate about the form, “says the historian.

The research on Žižek itself has been developing systematically since the end of the 18th century, when it found itself in the sights of historians – even before the revival. “There was also the interest of Austrian state propaganda to pull out the Czech Žižka during the wars against Napoleon and to encourage the Czech military feeling with reference to the glorious past. Which is quite paradoxical, “smiles Čornej.

According to him, the number of materials gradually increased, but there were also issues hitherto unknown to historians. It is also the name “Žižka” itself. “He was not the only one, there were a huge number of bearers of the name, especially in southern Bohemia, there can be counted in the 14th-15th. century to twenty thirty. And something is related to this Žižka, something not, but it is interesting that the nickname probably referred to a poor-seeing or one-eyed person, “says Čornej.

And he adds that he could also start supplementing the book. His Brno colleague warned him that in the Znojmo accounts from the 15th century there is a horse offered for sale for ten gold, which is called Žižka monoculus, ie Žižka unicorn. “And that is the year 1427, ie three years after Žižek’s death, which would indicate that Žižka equals one-eyed,” he explains.

When asked whether Žižka was a driving force in history or dragged by them, he clearly responds that the first one. According to him, the participation in the defenestration of July 30, 1419, which broke out by the Hussite revolution, has already been confirmed by four sources.

“Apparently he was in charge of the military or organizational support of the whole event, so he was already a person known. And also that it is written that he was unique, exceptional, the original courtier of King Wenceslas shows that even in the environment of the royal court he enjoyed interest and had a certain reputation, he was destined to be brought up by the revolution, “he explains.

The Hussites sought to reform the church

Čornej says that Žižka actually took the desired form of the church as the right one by Jan Hus, that is, the priest, thinker, preacher and reformer, as the general social atmosphere that prevailed. This direction was supported by a large part of the Czech public opinion, across society, ie from the high nobility to the poor.

“And the second thing was that, in my opinion, Žižka found the only way to atone for his life so far, which, from the Christian’s point of view, was filled with sins, because he was beyond the law. The monarch had to amnest him, he killed without the command of the lords, all these were mortal sins, and he, a man on the threshold of physical extinction, wished for salvation and the attainment of eternal life. So he leaned towards reform, probably thinking that it would make up for his previous life. Finding salvation was to be the central meaning of every Christian’s life, an absolutely fundamental matter, ”explains Čornej.

However, if he succeeded in the end, it remains unknown. “He himself did not know until his physical extinction, he was undoubtedly insecure and it must have bothered him until the extinction. Nobody knows, this is the moral challenge: I will be saved – I will not be saved, I will achieve eternal life or not, the certainty is missing there, “the historian concludes.


Dead Cini Boeri, son Stefano: «Sweet and implacable. He challenged prejudices with the workforce “

Intellectual, feminist, designer, Compasso d’Oro, partisan relay, the most refined expression of a creative, committed and courageous Milan. Cini Boeri (died on 9 September at the age of 96 in Milan), with that beautiful and intense life, the unique personality, the political battles, the meetings, the friendships (Ferruccio Parri was his wedding witness). It wasn’t, says her second son Stefano, an architect like her, talented like her. Cini was a tiger and a hen, attentive and affectionate, relentless, ironic and very sweet, a hard worker and vestal of the family, three children, seven grandchildren, her beloved daughters-in-law. thus died Cini Boeri, in his Milanese home, without suffering, with his boys around. He knew how to keep us all together. And together we were up to the last.

Cini Boeri (1924-2020)

Ninety-six years. There are so many, says Stefano serene and melancholy, the hustle and bustle in his home-studio in the heart of Milan, the telephone calls of condolence, the words of affection. Until a year ago, he went to the studio in the morning, every day. Work was her life, it kept her standing, stimulated her. Even in recent months, despite the effort, she continued to design and draw, even with her hands, my mother has always been a designer of shapes.

Stefano Boeri
Stefano Boeri

Architecture as an engine, the profound meaning of an existence who never allowed herself moments of idleness, who preferred work – always – to a bourgeois existence as a Milanese lady. The commitment to carefree. Nights planning, smoking – he smoked until a few months ago, he never stopped – discussing with everyone. Tenacious and combative in a world, that of architecture, which in post-war Italy was not yet ready to deal with women designers, Cini and Gae (Aulenti), so friends and so different, but always loyal to one of the other, respectful of the work of others. Stefano continues: At the Politecnico Giuseppe de Finetti said to my mother: “You can’t be an architect! a profession for men “. He graduated in 1951. Despite the more or less obvious invitations to give up the construction site, to be a wife and mother. During a meeting at the Tempo delle Donne of Corriere della Sera in 2014, Cini told with his usual irony: Marco Zanuso more brutally apostrophized me: “Cini, you don’t have the balls to be an architect”. Prove everyone wrong.

Work and family, the two pillars that Cini never wanted to give up. Stefano still remembers: She was proud of her Compasso d’Oro (she received it in 1979 and career in 2011), proud of her successes, ready at any moment to develop new insights and collaborations. And yet, despite such an important and all-encompassing career, he was always there for us. Focused on our lives, she never lost sight of us. And the relationship with the architect son, indeed, with the star architect of the Vertical Forest Stefano Boeri?

We have never worked together. By choice. We often talked about architecture, in a sincere, sometimes fiery way. Each with his own ideas in the sign of mutual respect. Ours were very beautiful comparisons. And I knew his door was always open for me. She was my mother. No complex? Nobody. My son is also an architect. And there are no conflicts ….

Progressive, Milanese who dreamed of having a private plane like Norman Foster to escape to nature as soon as possible, secular. Cini Boeri’s funeral will be held tomorrow in Lambrate, ashes as she wanted, as she had always decided, autonomous and strong, independent, stubborn and sweet, as we children like to remember her. Those children for whom Zanuso teased her: Do you know that your children have big heads? It will be intelligence, sorry. And she: Provocations that did not hurt me also because my children were beautiful. And he again: Do you plan the chapel of the Nursery having a father-in-law eating a priest ?. Answer: My father-in-law was just a Republican.

The evening at the Boeri house a succession of tender memories. Memories of an extraordinary life, almost always lived in the Sant’Ambrogio district, near the basilica. Stories of an extraordinary woman (who died of old age, sweetly), and of a wonderful, unique mother. Even if he didn’t know how to cook at all.

September 10, 2020 (change September 10, 2020 | 08:26)



A change of pace on European funds

Sergio Mattarella yesterday sent a message full of meaning to the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio. The crisis forces us to make massive recourse to debt and we must not compromise the future of the new generations with wrong choices, said the President of the Republic. They will look at how resources have been administered. In the event of inactivity or little action, they will ask themselves why generations that have had such favorable conditions have failed to implement essential infrastructures and structural reforms, necessary for the efficiency of the social and economic system, increasing only the mass of debt. It couldn’t be clearer. it is hardly necessary to recall that in the coming years Italy has the opportunity to spend over 300 billion euros made available by the EU. Over two hundred will come from the Recovery Fund, 28 from the Sure fund for support to workers, 36 for health expenditure from the European Stability Mechanism (if we want them) and then there will be the traditional European funds, on which Italy will receive more how much it is called to contribute. This is also a result of the government and its newfound credibility in Europe: it would have been impossible if the country had been ruled by the Eurosceptic coalition in power up to 13 months ago. One third of the funds will be budget transfers, the rest will be loans on favorable terms and the total is worth 20% of the gross domestic product of 2020. To give an idea, the Marshall Plan between 1948 and 1952 was worth the 11th overall. , 5% of the Italian GDP of the time and you change the country.

Actually Barry Eichengreen and Brad DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley have shown that what really transformed Italy and the rest of Europe seventy years ago was not pure and simple financial firepower. These were the conditions that the Americans placed on aid: countries could benefit from it only if they abandoned the corporate models with a mixed economy of the 1930s, to transform themselves into market systems. The Marshall Plan was a turning point for Italy because it pushed it to modernize (at least in part) its economic institutions.

If this is the lesson of the past, we just have to ask ourselves if we remember it. But to answer today is impossible. There are too many aspects that still remain to be clarified, those on which no explanations have been given. Almost nothing is known about the projects and priorities, beyond the titles. We only know that Minister Enzo Amendola was asked to solicit plans by the ministries and more than six hundred arrived: almost all old, some of which were already financed with national funds. It will not be easy to give them consistency. Wouldn’t it have been better to start by indicating a few precise directions from the center, perhaps already in June or July, when the European agreement was already on the horizon? In Spain, for example, the recovery plan started with a call from the government to all large companies – private and public – to ask them which digital projects could have the greatest impact for growth.

It is very clear what form the reforms that must accompany the Italian Recovery Plan will take. According to the conditions set out in the July agreement in Brussels, they must concern civil justice and the efficiency of the administration. They should enter the project to be sent to the European Commission in just over a month, but these topics are hardly mentioned in the political world and in the country. The enabling law on the reform of civil justice has been lying in Parliament for some time, for example.

Finally, a question of method arises. THEthe task of preparing the Recovery Plan entrusted to Minister Enzo Amendola, one of the most capable and dynamic figures in the government. But Amendola, as Minister of European Affairs, does not have directly at his disposal an administrative structure with specific skills and of sufficient size to support him in this work. This is also a knot that will be dissolved in the coming weeks.

Yesterday at the Ambrosetti Forum it was Mattarella who emphasized the important role that Italy had in weaving the alliances to arrive at the European agreement in July. Now we need a change of pace in the government, if we want to be ready for this opportunity which – recalled the head of state – we cannot afford to waste.

September 5, 2020 (change September 5, 2020 | 22:58)



REVIEWS: Kundera in the best shape. The Feast of Insignificance is the brilliant finale of the writer ‘s work Culture

PRAGUE Incredible has become a deed. Milan Kundera has agreed to publish another of his books in Czech. In the year he is ninety-one. This is his last title, a 100-page novel The Celebration of Insignificance.

The book, written in French, was first published in Italian seven years ago. Anna Kareninová has now translated it into Czech. Great choice. Kareninová, reinforced by many years of experience with interpreting Célin and Pound, one of the most demanding writers of the twentieth century, is a translator with maximum responsibility: both for a specific word and for authorial specifics. But it wasn’t easy at all with Kundera: the version that the author released to print is said to be the tenth in a row. Apparently he cares about the finale of his work. No wonder: A celebration of insignificance is without exaggeration one of the best things the author has ever written.

Milan Kundera

Prostatik Kalinin

The onset is somewhat confusing. Several fleeting images, banal situations, which are not related to the outside at all and which aim to introduce the main character to the stage. There are probably four, four different male types: Alain, Charles, Ramon and Caliban. One considers the erotic potential of an exposed female navel. The other is not tired of standing in line for Chagall’s paintings. The third decides to mystify about his own deadly disease. And the fourth is an unrecognized actor with a Shakespearean nickname. Each of them likes to play, they all transform and mystify; one even considers writing a play for a puppet show. They have and do not have love; absurdity and irony are bubbling in their speech and actions. They insult a little, they insult others a little. So they are and they are not together; they are planning a big party, but at the same time they are impressed by their own loneliness and nothingness. Just a comic of a tragic root. An absurd drama with an existentialist background. Of course, interspersed with paragraph paragraphs: what about the beauty of women, what is the power of a strong bon mot and what is the silence, who is the “excuse”, what is the “value of insignificance”, etc.

The reader has a very refreshing feeling for a while: this is a style known from the late Flaubert, from Jarry, Viano, Queneau, or Patrik Ouředník, for example in a book It is said that the end of the world did not take place. Amused speculation, confusing the reader, a theater where everyone plays but no one knows all the roles. It was as if Kundera was returning to his avant-garde roots, to the refreshing power of the imagination, to his juvenile fascination with surrealism, Nezval, Vančura. After all, there are returns on other sites as well, this time motivating: for example, Comrade Kalinin. While in 1940, Kundera gave him the admirable gloss of “Kalinin’s Instruction” in Cultural Politics, he now has it washed away in his own nothingness, pettiness, and anxiety. Literally rinse out: Kalinin’s boss, Stalin, cares in one storyline that he always tells his companions an anecdote until the poor prostate prostitute Kalinin helps himself. In the end, he also enjoys urinating: in the final scene, he flies from the grave into Kundera’s fiction and sprinkles a monument. To make it clear that he lives forever, that there is definitely no piece of stone.

Good mood!

So criticism. Criticism of specific representatives of the human breed and their common history, especially the twentieth century. Portrait of a man as a puppet and the history of the world as a pimprl theater. It’s funny, is it crying? And is it true or a lie? What if this mystification does not mystify, but demonstrates the raw reality? What if yesterday, we didn’t read the previous page of the book carefully, or just forgot about it? So Kundera reminds us: he repeats the whole paragraph literally. This, too, belongs to history: advancing collective amnesia. But we already know this from Kundera. As well as structuring ninety-page prose into seven parts. Because seven are sins and virtues, seven are days of the week, seven are ravens in Božena Němcová’s fairy tale, seven have a lucky number embroidered by James Bond after their name. And because the seven rhymes with the seven in the Christian tradition, Kundera relies on her in his last text: he lets the title of the book be heard in the title of the last, seventh volume of the novel and for the third time in the title of the final subchapter. Despite all the playfulness and detachment of the text, its ostentatious external banality, this is clear news.

Caliban speaks fictional Pakistani in the story. And of course others don’t understand him. Alain is also doing his own thing: through speech he tries to shape and understand his ruthless mother, who did not only want to raise him, but also not to conceive him. Speech would like to fill an existential void here, but as a result it exposes a brutal loss: of oneself, of the other and of the world. A bit like Beckett or Ionesco: Ramon has a theory about “lookout towers that each stand at a different point in History and from which people talk to each other without understanding.” The cure for misunderstanding and loss is therefore the only one possible: to celebrate the insignificance of the moment. To dissolve the feeling of meaninglessness of words and human life with madness and carnival foolishness. A little further in the text, Ramon reads: “Good mood! That’s what it’s all about! ”

But Kundera is a more consistent analyst: he issues the last account. The world cannot be redone, one cannot move with reality. And the fact that he won’t take her seriously, that he will laugh at her, that he will indulge in short-term pleasure at her expense, won’t help either. Time is fatally tired: laughter and oblivion. Boredom and fear remained. In the current circle of historical development, “joking is already dangerous”.

If it still makes sense …

Under the skin of merriment is nothing but a hard and relentless core of anxiety. Despite Alain’s mother-misanthrope, the author actually agrees with the Marquis de Sade: Rousseau is wrong, man is irreparably corrupt and evil. Doomed to self-destruction, no chance; because people “are wonderfully manageable.” Alaina leads his lost mother all his life. And the exposed female navel in the introductory chapter is ultimately doubly symbolic: here it started with the umbilical cord, here it ends with a balance of all human losses and losses. A celebration of insignificance it’s a really funny book, but it’s also a really dark book. The brilliant finale of Kundera’s work. If he hadn’t written anything else, even this piece would have secured him a dignified place in world literature. Despite the doubts we read in the novel between the lines, whether it all makes any sense at all …


Translation: Anna Karenin

Afterword: Sylvie Richterová

Atlantis, Brno 2020, 120 pages


Gender, JKRowling rejects the Kennedy award

LONDON – The controversy about transgender people raised by the positions of JK Rowling. The British writer returned an award to a humanitarian association that had recently criticized her accusing her of “transphobia”. The award, called “Ripple for Hope” and given to people who show “a commitment to social change”, was bestowed on her last December by Robert Kennedy Human Rights to highlight her initiatives in favor of charitable organizations for the childhood.

“It’s one of the greatest honors I’ve ever received,” said the author of the Harry Potter novels last year, “Robert Kennedy represents everything I admire most in a human being. “Previous award winners include Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu and Joe Biden. But in early August, the association’s president, Kenny Kennedy, one of Bob Kennedy’s seven children, expressed in a statement her “dismay at Rowling’s tweets and transphobic claims” that “have had the effect of degrading the lives of transgender people.”


The writer’s reaction came yesterday. “Due to the serious conflict between myself and the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Association, I have no other option but to return the award. I am deeply saddened that the association has adopted this position towards me, but no honor, for how much admiration. I have for the person who bears his name, can push me to trample on the right to follow my conscience “. Rowling adds that Kerry Kennedy “incorrectly claims that I am transphobic and that I harm transsexuals.” He concludes by noting that he has received thousands of messages of support from inside and outside the transgender community.

In June Rowling had posted a series of Twitter comments which have rekindled a pre-existing controversy. “If there were no gender, today’s reality of women would be erased,” she wrote on the social network. “I love and respect transsexuals, but erasing the concept of gender prevents us from discussing our lives openly.” Revealing for the first time that she was a victim of sexual abuse herself, the writer also said that trans women who have not undergone hormone therapy or sex change surgery should not have access to spaces reserved for women.

Kerry Kennedy replies: “The science is clear and conclusive, sex is not binary. I spoke to Rowling, expressing my deep disappointment that she decided to use her great talent to create a narrative that debases the identity of transgenders and women. non-binary people “.



The father leaves, the mother is worried, the son longs to be Self-Suffering. The novel tells about the divorce of parents – ČT24 – Czech Television

The main protagonist of the book, Štěpán, is eleven years old, and his whole world still depends on adults. But what to do when his dad probably went crazy. He moved away, grew a beard, and his ankles looked out of his pants. In addition, Dad’s new girlfriend does not have much love for Štěpán. His mom sighs again, worries and saves on everything.

According to the author, life after the divorce of parents from the point of view of their son reflects reality. “As it is in the book, the father pays late, or sometimes he does not pay at all and mothers find themselves on the brink of poverty,” says Zuzana Dostálová.

The story of the tram

The father ignores the son in the story and does not want to take much care of him. The author found inspiration for the novel in a Prague tram. “I went from Břevnov to Palmovka. And in that tram, the little Štěpán and his father were sitting opposite me, and I heard their conversation in three-quarters of an hour. When I performed, I said to myself that I had to write about the boy, “describes Dostálová.

Although the divorce rate in the Czech Republic is declining slightly, almost every second marriage still ends. “There are only about ten percent of the gaps where the two shouldn’t have met at all. A maximum of twenty percent. The rest are completely unnecessary breakups of people who fit together quite well, “estimates psychologist Jeroným Klimeš.

On average, a couple in the Czech Republic last together for about 13 years. Most often, however, they diverge after a shorter time. “I am something between a war adviser and a gravedigger. Tragedies come to me. I stop those people from pulling out the heaviest weapons, the heaviest calibers, “says Klimeš about his work.

According to the author of the novel, divorces are more common due to less social pressure. “I think that divorce is a banal thing for society, people don’t condemn it, we live next to it and we don’t really notice it at all. It used to be discussed and divorce was something bad, “he recalls.

In the book, even after other family tragedies, young Štěpán tries to grow as fast as possible and be self-sufficient.

The author Zuzana Dostálová is a cellist and writer. In 2016, she released her first film Why is everyone leaving. She is also the founder of the project Stories from the Wall, the essence of which is relay writing.


Le Messager Newspaper | Palézieux / Morges: an edition of the Book on the hidden quays

Thu, 20. Aug. 2020

The literary festival Le livre sur les quais, which will be held from September 4 to 6 in Morges and which is directed by Palézienne Fanny Meyer (read her portrait in Le Messager on June 19) confirms its desire to maintain its 11th edition, but not without some adaptations. “Following our regular exchanges with the city and its services, and despite the efforts made on both sides, we had to resolve to review once again the concept on which we have been working for several months”, explains director Fanny Meyer. . The majority of the artistic programming will be maintained. Thus, from Friday to Sunday, the public will be able to follow meetings, discussions, performances and literary cruises. Nearly eighty events are scheduled and each …

The full article is only available to subscribers.


Mercedes Barcha, wife and muse of Gabriel García Márquez, has died

It was the Mexican minister of culture, Alejandra Frausto, who announced the death in Mexico City, at the age of 87, of Mercedes Barcha, wife of the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The woman, who lived in the Mexican capital, suffered from respiratory problems. Mercedes and García Márquez had met when they were boys, during a dance evening in Sucre, Colombia: he was 13, she was 9. Before going to Europe, in 1955, Gabo had promised Mercedes to marry her and he did so, in 1958. The couple had two children, Gonzalo and Rodrigo, and remained together until the writer’s death in 2014, also in Mexico City.

According to Gabo’s biographers, Mercedes was instrumental in encouraging her husband’s career, particularly in the eighteen months it took to complete One hundred years of solitude. Regarding the writing of the book, the writer told this anecdote to describe the importance of Mercedes’ support, as well as her sagacity: “The day I finished One hundred years of solitude, Mercedes and I went to the post office to mail it. There were 700 typewritten pages: the clerk weighed it and declared that sending it from Mexico to the publishing house in Argentina cost 83 pesos. Mercedes told me: “We only have 45. Get the pages weighed up to 45 pesos.” We cut the book in half, like cutting meat, and we only sent half of it. “Back home, the story that became a legend continues, Mercedes went to pawn the stove, the hairdryer and the blender and thus scrapped up the missing money , allowing her husband to send the second part of the manuscript to Argentina, commenting: “Now all we need is that the novel is bad”.

“It was the love of his life, since childhood”, writer Gustavo Tatis Guerra, biographer of Gabo, told the Colombian newspaper The universal, underlining how, even in the hardest financial moments for the couple, Mercedes did not doubt that thanks to her husband’s literary talent everything would go well. “She was a strong woman, of the lineage of Úrsula Iguarán and women of One hundred years of solitude“She will be buried in the Claustro de La Merced in Cartagena, Colombia, where her husband’s ashes rest.


Charles Bukowski, phrases and poems by the irreverent author

Among the most cited artists of the twentieth century, today he would have turned 100 years old. From “Notebook of a dirty old man” to “Drunk companions” to “Pulp”, here is the portrait of the master of dirty realism through his most famous expressions

“If something bad happens, you drink to forget. If something good happens, we drink to celebrate. And if nothing happens, you drink to make something happen ”, wrote Charles Bukowski in the novel“ Women ”. The passion for alcohol, horse bets and the relationship with female figures are the themes that are most often found in the production of the writer, one of the most cited in the world, who would have turned 100 on August 16, 2020. Through his works, mostly autobiographical, the master of dirty realism reveals himself and his world made up of slums, night spots and particular characters bordering on the grotesque. “Hospitals, prisons and whores: these are the universities of life. I have taken several degrees. Call me doctor ”, is one of the lines from“ Confessions of a man mad enough to live with beasts ”which draw one of the best portraits of Charles Hank Bukowski.

“Love is a form of prejudice”


Bukowski, the master of dirty realism

His language alternates raw, irreverent and scurrilous tones with more delicate and reflective sentences, especially when he speaks of women and feelings. “Love is a form of prejudice – he declared in“ Blows to empty ”- You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is most useful to you. How do you say you love a person, when there are at least ten thousand in the world that you would love more, if you only met them? But you will never meet them “. While in “Stories of ordinary madness” the writer goes deeper by explaining that, after all, “it all comes down to the last person you think of at night, that’s where the heart is”.

“Life is but a lot of trouble”


Charles Bukowski: 5 films based on his books

A childhood marked by an abusive father, alcohol discovered early, at only 14 with the first glass of wine, Charles Bukowski’s life was anything but linear and his world view seems on the edge of survival. “Heroes don’t exist. The winners do not exist. It’s all a rip off – he wrote in “Hangover Companions” – Everyone just tries to get by and have luck, if they can “. The writer’s daily life, in his stories, seems to be constantly waiting for new events, positive or negative, which lead him to affirm, in “A Sud di no Nord” that “life is nothing but a lot of trouble”.

“Sex is obviously tragicomic”

“Money is like sex, it seems much more important when there isn’t any.” In “Hollywood, Hollywood” Bukowski compares money to sex and in fact the artist has never disdained casual relationships, some of which are told in his poems and novels. But Hank, this was the writer’s nickname, is also capable of intense and lasting relationships. The sexual act is seen as a combination of comedy and drama so as to say in “Notebook of a dirty old man” that “sex is obviously tragicomic”.

“Again with the old friend, scotch with water”


Reading tips, books to read during the summer holidays

Lonely and shy, Charles Bukowski’s characters always have a very close bond with beers, wine and spirits. Always waiting for something, they act by taking a few sips from a glass. The master of dirty realism talks about the relationship with alcohol in almost all of his literary production up to the last novel, “Pulp”, where we read: “Again with the old friend, scotch with water”.

“We will all die. This alone should make us love each other “

But to friendship, not only with alcohol, in reality, Hank has dedicated part of his thoughts. Bukowski loved being alone, writing, but at the same time he needed a friend, a person to keep him company, because “the best thing is to be alone, but not completely”. Clear, risque, realistic and at the same time with a sensitive soul, he believed that “one of the best sensations in the world is when you hug someone and he reciprocates by holding you tighter”. And this is how we arrive, in “The captain is out of lunch”, to read one of the most lucid statements of the writer on humanity that seems almost an appeal: “We will all die, absolutely everyone, what a circus! This alone should make us love each other ”.


The ‘old pig’ is celebrating a hundred. Bukowski ‘s writing would definitely not work in today’s America, says Vít Penkala | Culture

THE ANGELS Dirty and spit-out putties, light women, ubiquitous vulgarisms and the smell of cheap brandy. Writer Charles Bukowski wrote about what he experienced. His authentic, expressive and rough books are found by readers all over the world. “On the Czech Wikipedia, the motto about Bukowski is longer than on the English, original one. It can be seen that domestic fans are paying attention to his legacy, “says Vít Penkala, editor of the Argo publishing house.

Lidovky.cz: Bukowski’s first book was published in Czechoslovakia at the time in 1991. What do you think attracted the domestic reader?
First of all, it must be said that an anthology of American poetry was published here in 1989, where Bukowski was represented. Maybe in 1986 something short was published in Revolver Revue, but it can’t be traced much.

The first book She has all the anus of the world but it really came out here only in 1991. This is, of course, a very catchy title, so it is clear that it has already attracted attention with its vigor. In addition, it came out in a very favorable climate after the revolution. There was a great hunger for the unknown names. Bukowski was very lucky with us. I read the book myself in amazement and I was certainly not alone in it.

Lidovky.cz: So it basically filled a gap in the market.
No doubt.

Lidovky.cz: She has all the anus of the world but Bukowski was not the first book. So why was it the first to be published in Czechoslovakia?
I have no idea. The book was then published by Pragma. It probably started logically with a book, which is basically a collection of authentic short stories, as an ideal entry point into Bukowski’s writing. It’s a great opportunity to introduce an author who has not yet appeared here.

Lidovky.cz: Bukowski stated that he did not write to save humanity, but to save himself. What did he mean? Could it be related to drinking?
Bukowski drank a lot, partly because it untied his hands as he wrote. He also admitted that after the war, when the success with writing did not come, he did not write at all for about ten years. He called this period his “drunken years.” Gradually, small magazines began to appear, and success came, although he was left with alcohol.

The fact that he wanted to save himself, but probably related to his life situation. His parents raised him rather cruelly, especially after he moved from Germany to America. In the New World, moreover, he had a strong German accent that separated him from his peers. He had dyslexia. He also suffered from very severe acne, which permanently affected his face. He had no success with women. He was pushed and bullied. I would perceive it as saving himself from his surroundings by writing.


The popular Czech band Chinaski was named after the main character Charles Bukowski.

Lidovky.cz: But then he projected his demons into his character Henry Chinaski. The one in the novel Ham cut (in a later edition as Intestine, note or.) He talks several times about his suffering with acne.
Chinaski was Bukowski’s alter ego. It’s hard to say how stylized the character was, but I argue that most of his writing was based on real experiences. IN Ham cut captured his childhood, in Hollywood rejection of own scenarios and v Post office his many years of experience with this job.

Lidovky.cz: Bukowski has a very expressive language. What makes his translations specific?
So first of all, definitely the language. I don’t think he tried to be intentionally vulgar, but he wrote in a language that was his own. It was not a stylization, but the speech of the environment in which he moved. If one wants to translate it correctly, this language position should not be completely foreign to him. Otherwise it will not look natural.

Lidovky: How did his style develop from the first publications to the final works?
His first works are not to be overlooked, because he often published them on his own or with the help of his friends. From this time it is really very difficult to compile a complete bibliography. Even today, anthologies of previously unpublished texts or correspondence are published.

Lidovky.cz: What about its imitators?
I think writing like Bukowski would be pretty bold. Especially if the writer has not experienced as much as he has experienced. Honestly, few people have that. But we can find authors who described this darker and more marginal side of life, although not under its influence.

I was attacked by Ivan Landsmann, who wrote a book about life in the Ostrava mines Colorful layers. He had the opportunity to publish this book written in a specific language after the revolution. It was a discovery.

Lidovky.cz: How many Bukowski books have Argo published? What are the responses to this?
We have released twenty of them since 2005. These were the same things that had already been published in Prague, but in revised or new translations, with a uniform graphic appearance. Reader’s interest in Bukowski is still stable, several thousand copies of each book have certainly been sold. On the Czech Wikipedia, the motto about Bukowski is longer than on the English, original one. It can be seen that domestic fans pay attention to his legacy.

However, a quite different situation is needed in Slovakia, where, as far as I know, only two of his books have been translated.

Lidovky.cz: Can’t the interest here be related to the fact that the groups that Bukowski writes about were undesirable and persecuted here during communism? Suddenly, someone came to the book market who “loves” them
This is the position of autobiographical writing that connects Bukowski (though he didn’t like it) with the Beat Generation. Their whole work has a great response here.

Lidovky.cz: How is naturalistic Bukowski writing perceived in today’s sensitive times? I can imagine that the lens of the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement is very flawed.
He would certainly come across these days, because his approach to women cannot be called anything other than severe misogyny. That would not work in America today. However, I was looking at the internet and I don’t think there was any public burning of Bukowski’s books. In a way, he is still a marginal author. Even with its stylization, it cannot be part of the mainstream. The work is finished, still read and published. In addition, Bukowski does not comment on the present, so no one should push him for it.

Lidovky.cz: From what you read, what is Bukowski’s most popular book for you?

When I read She has all the anus of the world, so the story impressed me powerfully Love for seventeen and a half dollars, which is the story of a man who begins to live with an artificial mannequin from a shop window. he lives with her, falls in love with her, and the whole story ends with a heartbreaking picture, as the man’s ex-partner finds out and breaks the mannequin. This is a bizarre subject, but from the whole story there is a strong empathy for the man. It is a portrait of great loneliness, sensitivity.

If you know the movie Stories of ordinary madness Petr Zelenka, so he used exactly this motif there. His film (hence the original play) is not so named by chance, because one of Bukowski’s books bears the same title.

Lidovky.cz: Did his texts arouse any controversy in their time?
It is rather the films that, according to them, were made because they reached a wider audience. There is a Belgian film Crazy Love according to Bukowski’s text. There will be a thorny theme of necrophilia in it.

The same theme was made in 1991 by a French film called Cold moon, which was also projected in our country. It’s a story about drunks stealing a corpse for fun and not knowing what to do with it. But then he finds out that the deceased is a really beautiful girl. But the film had such a strange, poetic melancholy. Bukowski excelled in that he always looked for something more, something human, even in topics beyond the edge.

Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994)

Charles Bukowski was born on August 16, 1920 in Germany as Heinrich Karl. His father was a soldier, his mother a seamstress. Due to the economic crisis, the whole family moved to Los Angeles. Bukowski did not have an easy childhood, and that marked him for life. His best-known works include The Old Pig’s Notes (1969), The Post Office (1971), Stories of Ordinary Madness (1972), Faktótum (1975), Ham Cut (1982), Hollywood (1989) and The Squirrel (1994). He died in 1994 of leukemia.