Friday, March 28, 2014

Bohumil Hrabal

Today would have the 100th birthday of Bohumil Hrabal.  He was a writer and and actor.  Many Czechs regard him as one of the best writers of the 20th century.

He was born on 28 March 1914 in Brünn, Austria-Hungary, which today is Brno, Czech Republic.  He died in Prague in 1997 at the age of 83.

Some of his poetry was removed from circulation 1948 and two of his books were banned in 1970 by the communist government.  He tried to steer clear of politics but I think that was easier said than done in Czechoslovakia.

His two best-known novels were made in to movies.  In 1968, Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.  In 2006, Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále (I Served the King of England) was released.

In 1996 he was awarded the Czech Medal of Merit, First Grade.

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