Bohumil Hrabal

From Academic Kids

Bohumil Hrabal (March 28 1914, Brno - February 3 1997, Prague) was a famous Czech writer.
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Bohumil_Hrabal_Wall_Prague_Liben_CZ.JPG
Bohumil Hrabal painted among his beloved cats on Hrabal Wall in Prague
Contents

Life and work

Born in Brno-Zidenice, Moravia, Hrabal received a Law degree from Prague's Charles University, and lived in the city from the late 1940s on. He worked as a manual laborer in the Kladno ironworks in the 1950s, which inspired the "hyper-realist" texts he was writing then. His best known novel was Closely Watched Trains (1965) (Ostře sledované vlaky), which was made into a film by Czech director Jiří Menzel.

Several of his works were not published in Czechoslovakia due to objections of the authorities, including The Little Town Where Time Stood Still (Městečko, kde se zastavil čas) and I Served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále).

He died when he fell from a fifth floor hospital where he was apparently trying to feed pigeons. It was noted that Hrabal lived on the fifth floor of his apartment building and that suicides by leaping from a fifth-floor window figured in more than one of his books.

He wrote with an expressive, highly visual style, often using long run-on sentences; in fact his work Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age (1964) (Taneční hodiny pro starší a pokročilé) is just one long sentence. Many of Hrabal's characters are portrayed as "wise fools" - simpletons with occasional or inadvertent profound thoughts - who are also given to coarse humour, lewdness, and a determination to survive and enjoy oneself despite harsh circumstances. Political quandaries and their concomitant moral ambiguities are also a recurrent theme.

Along with Jaroslav Hašek and Karel Čapek - who like him were imaginative and very funny satirists - he is considered one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century. His works have been translated into 27 languages.

Quotations

  • It's interesting how young poets think of death while old fogies think of girls. -- Bohumil Hrabal in Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age
  • Bohumil Hrabal embodies as no other the fascinating Prague. He couples people's humor to baroque imagination. -- Milan Kundera.

Selected bibliography

In English

  • Closely Watched Trains, translated by Edith Pargeter with a foreword by Josef Škvorecký Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1995
  • Cutting It Short; The Little Town Where Time Stood Still, London: Abacus, 1993
  • Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1995
  • The Death of Mr Baltisberger, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975
  • Closely Observed Trains: A Film by Jiří Menzel and Bohumil Hrabal, London: Lorrimer Publishing Ltd, 1971
  • Closely Watched Trains: A Film, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971
  • I Served the King of England, translated by Paul Wilson New York: Vintage International, 1990
  • Too Loud a Solitude, translated by Michael Henry Heim San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990
  • Total Fears: Letters to Dubenka, translated by James Naughton Prague: Twisted Spoon Press, 1998

In Czech (first editions)

  • Ztracená ulička, Nymburk: Hrádek 1948
  • Perlička na dne, Prague: CS 1963.
  • Pábitelé, Prague: MF 1964.
  • Taneční hodiny pro starší a pokročilé, Prague: CS 1964.
  • Ostře sledované vlaky, Prague: CS 1965.
  • Inzerát na dům, ve kterém už nechci bydlet. Prague¨: MF 1965.
  • Morytáty a legendy, Prague: CS 1968.
  • Domácí úkoly, Úvahy a rozhovory. Prague: MF 1970.
  • Poupata, Prague: MF 1970, conficated and burnt by communist regime
  • Postřižiny, Prague: Petlice 1974 (Anti-communist secret publishing house)
  • Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále, Prague: Petlice 1971 (Anti-communist secret publishing house)
  • Městečko, kde se zastavil čas, Prague: Petlice 1974 (Anti-communist secret publishing house); Exile Edition: Comenius, Innsbruck, 1978.
  • Něžný barbar, Prague: Petlice 1974 (Anti-communist secret publishing house); Exile edition: Index, Koeln, 1981.
  • Příliš hlučná samota, Prague: Ceska expedice 1977 (Anti-communist secret publishing house); Exile edition: Index, Koeln, 1980.
  • Slavnosti sněženek, Prague: CS 1978.
  • Krasosmutnění, Prague: CS 1979.
  • Harlekýnovy milióny, Prague: CS 1981.
  • Kluby poezie, Prague: MF 1981.
  • Domácí úkoly z pilnosti, Prague: MF 1982.
  • Život bez smokingu, Prague: CS 1986.
  • Svatby v dome, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1986 (Anti-communist secret publishing house); Exile edition: 68’Publishers, Toronto, 1987.
  • Vita nuova, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1986 (Anti-communist secret publishing house); Exile edition: 68’Publishers, Toronto, 1987.
  • Proluky, Prague: Petlice 1986 (Anti-communist secret publishing house) Exile edition: 68’Publishers, Toronto, 1986.
  • Kličky na kapesníku, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1987 (Anti-communist secret publishing house)
  • Listopadový uragán, Prague: Tvorba 1990.
  • Ponorné říčky, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1991.
  • Růžový kavalír, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1991.
  • Aurora na mělčině, Prague: Prazska imaginace 1992.
  • Večerníčky pro Cassia, Pražská imaginace, Prague 1993.
  • Atomová mašina značky Perkeo sc, Prace, 1991
  • Bambino di Praga; Barvotisky; Krásná Poldi Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1990
  • Básnění Praha: Pražská imaginace, 1991
  • Bibliografie dodatky rejstříky Praha: Pražská imaginace, 1997
  • Buďte tak hodná, vytáhnete rolety: výbor z milostné korespondence Praha: Triton, 1999
  • Chcete vidět Zlatou Prahu?: výbor z povídek Praha: Mladá fronta, 1989
  • Já si vzpomínám jen a jen na slunecné dny Nymburk: S Klos, 1998

Complete works edition in 19 volumes was published in 90ties by Prazska imaginace.


External links

de:Bohumil Hrabal eo:Bohumil HRABAL fa:بهومیل هرابال fr:Bohumil Hrabal pl:Bohumil Hrabal

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