Art, Prague Literary Tour

A Prague lover’s reading list

Prague literary tour and Prague books
Prague literary tour

These are just few books that a Prague lover may want to grab before heading to Prague or after getting back from your Prague literarary tour. We will be adding books but will be happy if you let us know of any treasures that you feel other Prague lovers should know of. Thank you! So here is your Prague lover’s reading list. And let’s go for a literary walk when you are in Prague.

Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924)

It is impossible to talk about 20th century literature in Prague without mentioning Franz Kafka. For those who would like to penetrate the mysterious world of this Prague born Jewish German-language writer, their reading list should include:

  • The Metamorphosis
  • The Trial
  • The Castle
  • America

 

Only a few of Kafka’s works were published during his lifetime but the publisher, Max Brod, ignored Kafka’s wish to have the manuscripts destroyed, and published most of his works. By the way, the Franz Kafka Muzeum in Prague is definitely worth a visit plus it is almost underneath the Charles Bridge, so convenient location, isn’t it….?

E.E. Kisch (1885 – 1948)

Czech writer and journalist, who wrote in German. Nicknamed the “Raging Reporter from Prague”, Kisch is considered one of the founders of the Czech investigative and reportage journalism. He wrote books about his numerous trips, such as:

  • Zaren, Popen, Bolschewiken (On the Soviet Union) (1926)
  • Paradies Amerika (On the United States) (1929)
  • Secret China (1933)

Franz Werfel (1890 – 1945)

Czech-Jewish novelist and playwright born in Prague, later moved to Vienna where he met and fell in love with Alma Mahler, widow of Gustav Mahler, the former lover of the painter Oskar Kokoschka, and the wife of the architect Walter Gropius. By the end of the nineteen-twenties, Werfel had become one of the most important and established writers in German and Austrian literature. Werfel and Alma left Austria after the German occupation in 1938 and finally settled in the United States where Werfel died in 1945. The beautiful, passionate Alma attracted a number of artists but also writers, so choose one of the books inspired by this  femme fataleContinue reading “A Prague lover’s reading list”

second hand bookstore in Prague
Prague hidden gems, Prague Literary Tour

Secret second-hand book stores (ANTIKVARIAT) of Prague – (Part I)

Wherever I travel, I always look for second-hand book stores. Old books that can tell stories. It would not be Prague without many second-hand book stores – Antikvariat – in Czech. Some of these shops look like a set for a movie or they make you feel like you are entering a completely different

world.

The one, well hidden “antikvariat” that I really like is Podzemni antikvariat– Underground second-hand bookstore in Czech. I will admit that I did not know about it but then a friend of mine told me „You have to go there, it is interesting.” It is located at Hybernská street 22, opposite the side entrance to the Masaryk railway station. The street by itself is nothing special, many cheap and unattractive stores. But look for No. 22 and enter into the building. Yes, you will see bizarre paintings on the walls and ceiling but keep going and follow the ANTIKVARIAT signs. There is a staircase leading down to the bookstore and there it is – books, boxes of books, books on the tables, books on the floor, everywhere. And old drawings, paintings, old postcards, posters, junk, just look around. No matter whether you want to buy an old Czech book (look for the locked glass cabinet in one of the rooms), enjoy the very Prague atmosphere or you will like one of the „artworks“, it is a place worth of a visit. I saw a couple of English language books, too.

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