Her Majesty’s Ambassador Jan Thompson has been in the Czech Republic for almost four years. Although she has spent lengthy periods in tough places, including war zones, during her diplomatic career, her job in Prague is no walk in the park either: she has to make sure that the relationship between the UK and the Czech Republic stays strong while Britain transits from an EU state into a non-member state. The topics of Markéta Šonková’s and Anna Formánková’s diplomatic interview were not only Brexit, but also Shakespeare, the position of a woman in diplomacy, as well as why there are cats at the British Embassy in Prague.Read more
It would not be an exaggeration to claim that all of us have experienced some type of adaptation during our lifetime already. People often go to the cinema to watch movies based on their favourite books, play games based on their favourite movies and then read books based on the games. Adaptation is an organic process of information modification, of text shaping and media exploration. But what it is, exactly? Why it is good to stay unfaithful to the source material? And why is interdisciplinarity so important today? Professor Kamilla Elliott, a leading scholar in the field of adaptation studies, was kind enough to provide answers for all these questions and many more!
Although he is not leaving the department altogether, the fact that he is stepping down as head after 15 years definitely feels like the end of an era. That is why we decided to sit down with the former Head and current Deputy Head of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, find out more about his life, and take a peek at the many different sides of the man who has gone from doing the local paper delivery route in San Francisco suburbia to being in charge of one of the oldest English departments in the world.Read more
Written by Blanka Šustrová Edited by Martina Krénová
Studying English language at university is not unusual these days for non-native speakers. But what if a young English-speaking man from Bristol decides to devote his college years to studying Czech language? It was a pleasure to ask Chris White what had led him to this decision, how he found the language and what the department of Czech studies in Bristol looked like.
Such are the words of Laura Dockrill who was kind enough to spare a few minutes to answer our questions. Writing is only one of her many accomplishments as she is a woman of numerous talents; apart from being an author, Laura is also a performer and an illustrator. Laura’s works cover various genres, diverse characters, but they all have a few things in common: a creative spirit and an empathy towards all the heroes and heroines, whether feisty or insecure ones. It is not difficult to find yourself in any of her works, because even though her characters come from different worlds, they all have quite ordinary struggles. And when Laura starts to perform poems, the rhythm of her performance draws you in. Whether you are an aspiring artist or “just” a reader, she has the power to reach and inspire you.
An Interview with Filip Krajník, the Czech Translator of the Darcy Burdock Series
by Martina Krénová
edited by Blanka Šustrová
You are the translator of Laura Dockrill’s Darcy Burdock series. Why did you choose to translate a series for pre-teen girls? Tell us the backstory.
Actually, it wasn’t me who made the choice. I’d love to say that the book chose me or something like that to create a bit of cheap dramatic effect, but the truth is that I was chosen by the Czech publisher. More than two years ago, I stopped by the offices of Argo publishing house in Prague to discuss some translation I was doing for them at the time and decided to make use of the opportunity and say hi to Alena Pokorná, the editor in chief of Argo’s children’s department. She has an absolutely wonderful office in the attic of the building, with many bookshelves filled with children’s books – one of the most beautiful workplaces I’ve ever seen. I don’t actually remember what happened there, but I do recall myself leaving Alena’s office about half an hour later with a little blue book with some weird girl and a sheep on the cover which I promised to translate without actually having read a single word of it. When I arrived home, I opened the book and after a couple of pages my thoughts were like, “Oh my God! I’ve just made the biggest, fattest mistake in my life! I can’t translate this – this is a book for GIRLS. Narrated by a girl. Who is ten and paints her fingernails different colours. And yes, she’s totally CRAZY!” But then I learned that Darcy, the book’s eponymous narrator, hated mushrooms – which I despise as well – so I decided to give it a try. (Laughs.)Read more
In the spring issue of Re:Views we present you with another inspiring story of a KAA student who has made it in the professional world and managed to use the knowledge and skills acquired at KAA to make a career. Barbora Kratochvílová, a perspective owner of a language school and a passionate teacher, proves that language teaching does not have to be something KAA students do only to pay the bills, but something that can become a real career and a vocation too.
Have you ever been asked that annoying question “And what on earth are you going to do with your degree?” I bet that everyone of us has had to answer it at some point. Maybe you were overcome by the sense of despair, fearing that studying English is just a waste of time, as the general public seems to think. But fear not. Not only that studying at KAA broadens your horizons and provides you with invaluable knowledge, but the skills you learn here are perfectly applicable in the “real world out there”, too. What more – with enough diligence and courage you can start your career already during your studies! Meet Filip Drlík, 28, a student of the master degree program in translation at KAA, who managed just that. He pursued his goal of becoming a translator of fiction and succeeded. In this interview you can read about his way to literary translation, the practical site of being a translator of fiction, the importance of translation studies and many more.
Since Re:Views would be incomplete without interviews, we decided to introduce a member of the Department staff in every issue of the magazine and ask them about their work, interests and opinions. For the first issue we picked Jeff Smith, a scholar, theatre director, filmmaker – in short a truly Renaissance man. Jeff has been working at the Department for over a year. He told us about his work as well as the Gypsywood Players, theatre, Shakespeare and Lego animation. Read more