Saturday, April 2, 2011

Radio Prague Today 4.2.2011

Articles posted on today

Olga Walló: a Bohemian tale

In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan meets the poet and novelist, Olga Walló. In recent years she has become something of a literary phenomenon in the Czech Republic, even though she was over fifty when her first novel was published in 1998. Prior to that, she was better known as a translator and dubbing director, a career which she describes as a form of "inner emigration" from communism. Her novels are strongly autobiographical and Václav Havel has described them as a way of "tracing the path which our nation travelled not so long ago."

Christmas Eve 1937: A message of goodwill from Albert Einstein

It was exactly seventy years ago this week, at 11 pm on a cold and snowy Christmas Eve in 1937, that Czechoslovak Radio attempted a fascinating radio experiment. A radio bridge was set up to bind three continents – reaching India in the east, and across the Atlantic to the United States in the west. The Czech writer, Karel Čapek and the inventor of the arc-lamp, the 90-year old František Křižík, exchanged messages of goodwill for the coming year with Albert Einstein in Princeton and with the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal. The experiment was to show the binding power of radio, and the solidarity between people of goodwill at a time when the world was under a growing threat from dictatorship.