czechoslovakia

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

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Rated by Magda B.
Apr 6, 2012

This book is about a magic house towering above the Czech city of Brno. The house was custom built by a visionary architect for a Jewish-Catholic newlywed couple in the 1920s. The new house projects wealth, self-confidence, beauty and a new architectural form. The couple only gets to enjoy the house until the country is occupied by the Nazi army and the family has to leave everything behind and flee. Their lives as refugees continue from country to country. But the life of the villa does not end with the departure of its owners. New residents come one after another: The Germans are replaced by

Feb 22, 2011

This enjoyable Czech comedy concerns an aging man named Fanda, retired from the theater, and his sidekick, who refuse to become emeritus vegetables, living corpses. To stay involved in the world they cook up harebrained schemes that dig them deeper into trouble. By contrast, Fanda’s wife nourishes a petty bourgeois death cult, devoting their pension to saving for a respectable funeral and burial plot. Their spoiled rich son wants to take over his parents’ apartment to house his harem.  The movie features several Czech notable contemporary actors and the plot reflects contemporary life in the

Encounter by Milan Kundera

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Rated by Magda B.
Oct 30, 2010

The author of the celebrated novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and, my personal favorite of his novels, “Ignorance,” Milan Kundera is a writer whose work I always look forward to reading. His new book, “Encounter,” is a mix of essays and short stories. In it, Kundera offers his personal reflections on artists and writers who have been important to him. In one essay, he compares Philip Roth with Fyodor Dostoevsky; in another, he looks at the contributions to cinema made by the Lumiere brothers and Fellini. As often in his work, he examines memory and forgetting and he offers his