Hrabal, Bohumil

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Hrabal, Bohumil,

1914–97, one of the most important and popular Czech writers of the 20th cent., b. Brünn, Austria-Hungary (now Brno, Czech Republic). After working at a number of jobs, he became a professional writer in 1962, first winning recognition for his wryly amusing, anecdotal, and mildly surreal short stories collected in Pearls of the Deep (1963), Palaverers (1964, tr. 1966), and The Death of Mr. Baltisberger (1966, tr. 1975). Employing rich and descriptive prose that often digresses, his works, whether tales or novels, are usually about and narrated by working-class social misfits, simpletons who are at times unintentionly profound. Though marked by tragic circumstances, his fiction is also slyly and joyfully comic. Enormously popular during the Prague Spring, his books were banned after the Soviet invasion and then circulated by underground publication or in smuggled copies until the end of Communist rule (1989). Among his best-known novels is Closely Watched Trains (1964, tr. 1995), the story of a young railway apprentice during the Nazi occupation; Hrabal cowrote the screenplay for the 1966 film (Academy Award, best foreign film). Other novels include Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, (1964, tr. 1995, 2011), a rambling life story told by an elderly roué in one book-length sentence; I Served the King of England (1971, tr. 1990; film, 2008); The Little Town Where Time Stood Still (1982, tr. 1993); and Vita Nuova (1986, tr. 2010). Hrabal also wrote poetry and other screenplays.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A mix of old and new, folktales and urban legends, this collection shows Bohumil Hrabal's surrealist influences as well as his roots in the history of his homeland.
Through these publications, English-language audiences were introduced to the work of Kundera, Bruno Schulz, Tadeusz Borowski, Daniol KiA , Joseph Brodsky, Bohumil Hrabal, and Gyorgy Konrad, among other writers working under the tyranny of Soviet occupation.
A piedi scalzi suiie schegge di vetro di una solitudine troppo rumorosa (Bohumil Hrabal), la silloge poetica di Victoria Surliuga intreccia parola onirica con parola mimetico-descrittiva per dire quello che fin da bambina percepiva muoversi nel suo spazio mentale: "tutto il rumore che sento qua dentro" (p.
Bohumil Hrabal and Stacey Knecht (translator); HARLEQUIN'S MILLIONS; Archipelago Books (Fiction: Translations) 18.00 ISBN: 9780981955735
EW: Conrad, Borges, Calvino, Steinbeck, Felisberto Hernandez, Guimaraes Rosa, Bohumil Hrabal, las narradoras del sur norteamericano, Garcia Marquez, Quiroga, Cheever ...
The reading list also included Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, Susan Minot's Lust and Other Stories, Bohumil Hrabal's I Served the King of England, Djuna Barnes' Ryder, Richard Farina's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, Barbara Raskin's Hot Flashes, and Jean-Domenique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
In the cinema, I think it was The Reader, and on DVD, I Served The King of England, a terrific Czech film, adapted from the book by my favourite novelist, Bohumil Hrabal. It's about a diminutive waiter trying to survive under first the Nazis and then the Communists, in Prague.
For example, the loose, episodic structure of I, City and its democratic inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives owes a great deal to Bohumil Hrabal's collage technique of incorporating low-life characters into his stories and novels.
In spring, Jan Sverak's "Empties," penned by his father, Zdenek, broke the aud records set weeks before by Jiri Menzel's adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's "I Served the King of England," the latter competing in Berlin, while the Sverak comedy is now in the running for a Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary.
Written in homage to the late Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, Mercedes-Benz: From Letters to Hrabal is Polish author Pawel Huelle's novel based on stories from Pawel's family.