Published: 11 July 2000
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 192 pages
The Spirit Of Prague
Translated by Paul Wilson
Ivan Klima witnessed the horrors of Nazi occupation during the war (he began to write in Terezin concentration camp), the Stalinist regimes of the 1950s, the celebrations of the Prague Spring (Klima was the editor of Czechoslovakia's most important literary magazine), the despair of the Soviet invasion in 1968, the bravery of the members of Charter 77, the triumph of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, and the uncertainty following the formal division of his country.
This collection of essays by one of Europe's most brilliant and humane novelists charts five critical decades in the history of Czechoslovakia. In the title essay, Klima invokes the spirit of the city that has shaped and sustained him: ironical, cultured, accustomed to adversity but full of hope - a spirit embodied by his heroes, Kafka, Hašek and Havel, and one which has informed Klima's own unique perspective over fifty years of writing.
‘Ivan Klima is one of the greatest writers of Czecoslovakia. He is as good as Milan Kundera, Josef Škvorecký, and Václav Havel’