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50227CHAT: Reading in Prague / Alex Zucker

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  • Melvyn
    Nov 18, 2012
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      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, vtalacko@... wrote:
      > Proust - the whole work may be very long, but the individual books
      aren't, and I've found them pretty readable (although I'm only on no. 4,

      Crumbs, next you'll be telling us that you are past Harry Potter # 5. :-)

      I bet you read them in French too. :-) I would be afraid of native speakers' blank stares if I tried to use vocabulary from Proust. I found this was the problem with reading too many fin de siecle Czech poets and First Republic novelists. When I show my vocabulary notebooks to Czech friends in their twenties they often burst out laughing. A huge linguistic generation gap seems to be opening up.

      >However, I'm almost incapable of reading a very long book in one
      volume, even if the language isn't complex. I just look at it and think there's no way I'm going to make it through that, even if it's supposed to be a good book.

      Svejk started well, but then went round in circles IMHO, so I gave up somewhere north of Budejovice. Even staunch Catholic friends here seriously tell me off for my lax attitude over this. BTW a friend of mine once cycled from London to our village over two weeks - he said that whenever he entered a Czech village all the dogs started barking uncontrollably and he was reminded of Svejk's anabasis.

      Same impression from Petra Hulova's Pamet moji babicce. Very compelling until half time. Maybe I should make more of an effort with Topol, but I approach his longer works with similar trepidation now. On the other hand Ajvaz keeps the innovative ideas coming. And he knows when to stop, which is just as important IMO as knowing how to start.

      >I'm sounding here as if I read more than I actually do (it's terrible -
      so much of my reading was done before the advent of the internet! And
      most of my Czech reading was done in the 1990s when I was first over

      Funny that. I find I read more novels now thanks to the internet. Perhaps I should get out more. :-) But then I would use my Nokia 9300 reader.

      What else did you get into?

      >But I did like Vancura, and found him easier to read than many
      other writers. (Is Marketa Lazarova very different from the three I've
      read? will go and have a look. I'd like to read POAV, too).

      I believe ML and POAV are much more complex. My previous comments referred mostly to the latter.

      >Zeme, jez sotva pokryva porfyr, rulu a svor v koncinach stredni Vltavy, nehluboka ornice a spetka jilu na zapadnich svazich pahorkatiny nepojmenovane, dno vsednosti, podlaha bidy, daleko neni tak nicotna, aby z ni nevzesly lesy.
      Vzejdou prave tak, jako rec, nez konecne zazni hlasem, vzchazi za dlouheho mlceni.


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