Resources in English on Czech film, literature and politics
1. 2. 2009
There is very little detailed information, available on the web in English on various aspects of Czech literature, culture and politics, as well as on the value system of contemporary Czech society. We have thought it useful to bring together on a single web page various articles in English, dealing with various aspects of life in the Czech Republic. Many of these have been written by Jan Čulík, editor of Britské listy, as material for his students at Glasgow University in Scotland.
Na webu je velmi málo podrobnějších informací o české literatuře, kultuře a politice v angličtině. Rozhodli jsme se na jedné internetové stránce dát čtenářům k dispozici soubor článků v angličtině právě na tato témata. Autorem většiny z nich je šéfredaktor Britských listů Jan Čulík; mnohé z nich vznikly jako materiál pro jeho studenty na Glasgow University ve Skotsku.
1995: Czech Literature Now
- A volume of translations of short texts from Czech literature, as it was selected and edited for publication by Dr. Igor Hájek (1930-1995), Senior Lecturer in Czech Studies at the University of Glasgow HERE
Czech Renaissance Literature
- Jakub Žytek, Old Czech Books of Travel
Four video interviews on Czech history, literature and economy
- A video interview with Martin Pilař, Ostrava University, on 19th century Czech literature HERE, also available for download from Humbox HERE
- A video interview with Martin Myant on Czech economics since the fall of communism is HERE, also in HERE
- A video interview with Jan Čulík on Czech history is HERE, also in Humbox HERE
- A video interview with Jan Čulík on twentieth-century Czech literature is HERE, also in Humbox HERE
Regime Transition in Czechoslovakia
- 1968 Prague Spring - powerpoint presentation
- Czechoslovakia under Communism: popular opinion
- Czechoslovakia 1970 - 1989 with a powerpoint presentation
- Czech Political Culture in the 1990s
- Anti-Communism and Emotional Substitutes: (The sources of political legitimacy in the Czech Republic in the 1990s)
- How power makes or brakes political parties
- Pavel Kohout and Communism in Czechoslovakia
- Rising Discontent: The year 1999 in Review
- Andrew Stroehlein, Steven Saxonberg and Kazi Stastna, The Czech Republic 1992 to 1999: From unintentional political birth to prolonged political crisis
- Andrew Stroehlein, Czech Media, Czech politics and Czech culture - a selection of articles from 1998 - 1999
- Czech Media - a postcommunist model?
- Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic: Cultural Transition since 1989
- Czechoslovakia/Media - the Czech Republic: A General Overview, April 2002)
Material on Czech literature, culture and politics:
- Štefan Švec, The Crisis in Czech Literature: Some Superficial Marketing Twaddle
- Miroslav Holub (1923-1998)
- Josef Škvorecký (1924-)
- Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997)
- Arnošt Lustig (1926-)
- Václav Havel (1936 - )
- (Additional info:) Václav Havel (JČ 's article for The Scotsman, 1990)
- The Theatre of the Absurd
- (Additional info:) Václav Havel ( JČ's review of James Pontuso's monograph)
- Milan Kundera (1929-)
- Czech Feature Film Since 1989, a lecture given in Glasgow on 25th April, 2008.
A related powerpoint presentation
- Czech Cinema, A brief general intro.
- The Prague Spring as reflected in Czech postcommunist cinema, with a related powerpoint presentation
- Jízda (The Ride), director Jan Svěrák (1994)
- Silný kafe (Bitter Coffee), director Borkur Gunnarsson (2004)
- Horem pádem (Helter Skelter), director Jan Hřebejk (2004)
- Poslední motýl (The Last Butterfly), director Karel Kachyňa (1990)
- Kouř (Smoke), director Tomáš Vorel (1990)
- Nuda v Brně (Bored in Brno), director Vladimír Morávek (2003)
- Štěstí (Something Like Happiness), director Bohdan Sláma (2005)
- Babí léto (Indian Summer), director Vladimír Michálek (2001)
- Návrat idiota (Return of the Idiot), director Saša Gedeon (1999)
- Knoflíkáři (Buttoners), director Petr Zelenka (1997)
- Šílení (The Lunatics), director Jan Švankmajer (2005)
- Vratné lahve (Empties), director Jan Svěrák (2007)
- O rodičích a dětech (Of parents and children), director Vladimír Michálek (2008)
- Tajnosti (Secrets), director Alice Nellis (2007)
How J.R. won the Cold War
Edited by Jan Čulík
Sussex Academic Press, 2013
This is the first ever international comparative study of the mythologies which popular TV series in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania -- made before and after the fall of communism -- disseminate in their societies. Popular television broadcasting has had an enormous impact on the general public's beliefs and values, East and West. From the outset, the communist systems of Central and East Europe used entertainment television programming to instil the regimes' values in the viewer. And indeed popular television still exerts a major impact on these fairly homogeneous societies.
Up to date research about current social values and factors in the formation of individual and collective identity has considerable strategic importance for decision making both in Britain and in the EU. If we are to understand how the populations of the Central and East European countries might react in the current relatively unstable political and economic situation, it is necessary to understand the indigenous political, social and cultural discourse in these countries. Comparison of samples of popular television from the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s provides strategically significant material about how these societies think and rationalize, and what their thinking is rooted in. The study proceeds from the premise that popular television series provide a fertile ground of investigation as mass media reflects and shapes social and cultural values.
Jan Čulík, A Society in Distress
The Image of the Czech Republic in Contemporary Czech Feature Film
Sussex Academic Press, 2013, second edition 2014
Jan Čulík's book analyses the value system constructed by Czech feature films produced since the fall of communism in 1989. It provides an overview of some three hundred Czech feature films made during this period. Over fourteen chapters, the book shows how Czech film makers have dealt with the legacy of communism and other traumatic past experiences, and how they have borne witness to recent political and social developments in the Czech Republic. In Čulík's view, Czech feature film constructs an image of society which is still heavily influenced by the so-called "normalization" regime of the 1970s and 1980s, which was created in Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet invasion. Czech feature films bear witness to a society which suffers from fairly weak social and political structures. Many Czech films highlight the subordinate position of women in Czech society and project an image of impractical, inefficient, and aggressive men. In discussing the films, Čulík uses the methodology of Cultural Studies, in which art is seen primarily as a specific kind of social communication within a certain cultural and historical context.
Jiří Holý, Writers under Siege. Czech Literature since 1945
Sussex Academic Press, 2007, second edition 2010.
This is the first history of Czech Literature, published in English, in
more than 30 years (since the publication of Arne Novak's "Czech
Literature" in 1976). The history, written by Jiri Holy, Professor of
Czech Literature at Charles University, Prague, has been translated by
Elizabeth Morrison and Jan Čulík, who has also edited the volume.
Sussex Academic Press, Brighton, 360 pp.
Book is available from here
- In a polemic with Jan Čulík, (former) Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus warns against the Internet (31st May, 1997)
- "Is Klaus's package of economic measures going to be effective?" An analysis by Martin Myant of Paisley University, Great Britain (22nd April, 1997)
Czech day at Glasgow University (14th March 1997)
- What is going on in Czech politics (Jan Čulík)
- Is the Czech economic transformation over? (Martin Myant)
- Czech emigré literature - an attempt at a definition (Jan Čulík, 1995)
- Czech literature and culture: the long shadow of the curse of the Prague Spring (Jan Čulík, BASEES 1999)
- Czech Literature in the 1990s: A lecture, given in English at Glasgow University by Dr. Jiri Holy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
Media Studies/ Sdelovaci prostredky v CR
- Commercial TV in the Czech Republic: the state of play, as it was in 1997: Central European Media Enterprises, Ronald Lauder, Mark Palmer, Vladimir Zelezny, NOVA TV, the Czech Council for Radio and TV broadcasting and the Czech Republic : (For later developments, especially since 1999, see Jan Čulík's regular contributions in Central Europe Review , for full background to the history of TV Nova, see also this article by Jan Čulík from 1997, written for Transitions.)
More older articles
- Jan Čulík, Czech intellectuals and society: interview for the Norwegian weekly Morgenbladet (August 1996)
Literature and political culture:
- Czech literature and the reading public
- Intellectuals in the Czech Republic now
- Czech political culture in the 1990s
24.2. 2010 / Karel DolejšíThe Impenetrable Walls of a Shameful Silence - Our media ad usum delphini?24.2. 2010 / Daniel StrožProblems of Czech citizens on the border with Germany or are we not part of Schengen?27.1. 2010 / There is no difference between current Czech politicians and the politicians of the communist era, says an opinion poll29.12. 2009 / How the Czech internet daily Britské listy has become a slave to T-mobile Czech Republic8.12. 2009 / Prague firm BNV Consulting talks of sacking employees in its Christmas party invitation4.12. 2009 / Aleš UhlířEmployees in the Hyundai plant in the Czech Republic strike against inhuman working conditions24.11. 2009 / Baroness Ashton "took Soviet money"23.10. 2009 / Karel DolejšíJan Fischer, Head of Czech caretaker government, commits the Czech Republic to the US missile base system without having a political mandate12.10. 2009 / Karel DolejšíMoscow asks for clarification of the new anti-missile defence configuration9.10. 2009 / Prague firm humiliates Romanies19.9. 2009 / Karel DolejšíObama's new anti-missile project will destabilise the international security system8.9. 2009 / Jan ČulíkCzech Republic has given a suspended sentence to an internet journalist for "denying the holocaust"17.7. 2009 / Karel DolejšíHavel, Schwarzenberg and other East European politicians: Why did they write to Obama?15.2. 2009 / More Czech resources in English