Compact archive February 29, 2008

Mariusz Szczygiel: Gottland – How Czechs live without God

The book Gottland evoked great interest. But also questions; is the Polish writer able to write about Czechs? Can he tell anything about us we don’t know? Also, there came troubles, Karel Gott Museum Gottland doesn’t like the book carries the same name.

Gottland Museum may sue you to change the name of the book. Would you go to a court to defend it?

Szczygiel-mariusz “A writer at a court? I would love to! It’s like Franz Kafka’s spirit floats above my book.”

Did the name offended anyone else?

I don’t know about it. When I was in Gottalnd, I saw many times people aged 60-90 there and I had the feeling, from how they couldn’t wait to get in, as if they were to go to heaven. Inside, people have a feeling of solidarity, the one of people who survived communism together with Gott. Like if they were looking for balance Karel Gott sung about – that life is good, we are good, our past is good…

Do you think Gott can be a substitute for God?

“No. But he provides religious dimension, as a religion does.”

How do the Poles see Czechs?

Czechs say they cure tragedy by laughter. That seems outward for us. I published a book about regular Czechs, who don’t believe in god. Czechs are regarded as the least religious nation of Europe. Completely exotic for us! Reactions on this text, depicting how the life is without God, got over my expectations; I got more than 500 letters! Some positive – “I wonder on Czechs, who live their lives in harmony with ethics, even without religion.” or negative, like those on a hospice in Ostrava, where people have no wish for divine services – for some Poles life without God equals lack of morale.

How Czechs and Poles differ in viewpoint on world events?

“We have more definite answers. Catholicism ables us to judge easily. When the famous Sister Lucie from Fatima died, Polish press wrote: “…Sister Lucie talked to Virgin Mary many times…” but Czech Press wrote: “… Sister Mary is said to have talked to Maria many times..” the Czech Republic is a country of doubts, which I personally like (laughter).”

Source: MF Dnes, Ludek Navara

Big exhibition of alternative contemporary art in Prague

Contemporary art, that stands out of the main art establishment. This is how the International triennale of contemporary art ITCA 2008 defines itself.

The Exhibition Palace introduces hundreds of pieces of art from the Czech and Slovak Republic, Great Britain, France, Germany or Japan. After Prague Biennale, it is another exhibition aiming to increase interest of public in contemporary art.

There will be workshops and seminars, media campaign is prepared, web pages and catalog are ready. Curators’ choice focuses on non-eatabled art forms, sensitive to what represents esthetic, genre, ideological trends and conventions.

3rd June to 14th September 2008, National Gallery Prague, The Trade Fair Palace (Veletržní palác)


Czech Philharmonic Concert

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra has enjoyed unprecedented success for a number of years now. It became the focus of attention on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Antonin Dvorak, who conducted its first ever concert and is currently the best known Czech composer worldwide. The Czech Philharmonic continues to give proof of its artistic excellence and the distinctive nature of its sound.

Cycle K6-07 M. DE FALLA: Spanish suite for violin and piano.

MARTINU: Tree Czech Dances for piano
L. JANACEK: Sonet for violin and Piano
B. SMETANA: Concert etude “On the Seashore”
E. GRIEG: Sonet for violin and piano no. 1
A. DVORAK: Mazurek e-moll for violin and piano

violin Bohumil Kotmel
grand piano Jiří Kollert

Sukova Hall, Thursday, 25th March 2008, 19:30, Rudolfinum, Alsovo Nabrezi 12, Praha 1


Lenny Kravitz in Prague O2 Arena

Lenny_Kravitz O2 Arena is a new name for Sazka Arena, which is the largest multipurpose hall in Middle Europe. It hosts stars of the world scene, like R.E.M, and now even Lenny Kravitz comes to show his skills.

Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz (b. 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and arranger whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads.

In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording. He won the Grammy Award for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. He has sold an estimated thirty million albums worldwide.

The star has published a new album called it is time for a love revolution, featuring Hendrix rock, black soul and Kravits’ songstering. His Love Revolution Tour will go around Europe, the tickets are 990-1690 czk apiece in pre-sale. Prague, 23th June 2008, Sazka – O2 Arena


The oldest tram in Prague is one hundred years old

historic_tramway If all the Prague tramways were so old, the Prague Public Transport Company (MHD) probably wouldn’t get so many customers, but there is just this one, on its regular route 91 – the tourist sightseeing tramway.

Its evidence number is 240, its first day in work was in 1908. The design was very modern until 1930’s – its round corners, luminous interior, lined with combination of mahogany and red ash still evoke refined feelings.

And where will the oldest working tram in Prague take you? On a route around Prague Castle, on a trip in the historic centre, with the sight of Charles Bridge and around Vltava River. Recommended for romantic types and those who like ‘the good ol’ times’