Ivan Blatný

Poet, son of the writer Lev Blatný (1894-1930). Born in Brno, he spent the first part of his life here – before escaping into exile in 1948. He lived in a house...

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František Halas

Poet, translator and publicist, Brno born, spent his childhood and youth here. He learned the bookseller’s trade from A. Píša and for a brief period (1919–1921)...

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Oldřich Mikulášek

Poet and publicist. Lived in Brno from 1937 until his death, latterly at Mášova street. He is linked to several cultural institutions (the Brno studios of Czechoslovak...

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Jaroslav Seifert

Poet, publicist, memoirist. The first – and so far the only Czech to receive the Nobel prize for Literature. In addition to the lasting popularity he won through...

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Jan Skácel

Poet, writer, editor and translator. Spent most of his life in Brno and is closely linked to a number of Brno cultural institutions (the magazine Host do domu...

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Vít Slíva

Poet and schoolteacher. His connection to Brno dates back to his university days. Apart from one interlude, he has been living to this day at Poděbradova street....

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Places (in alphabetical order)

Ludvík Kundera

1920  –  2010

Poet, writer, dramatist, dramatizer, publicist, translator, editor, literary historian, artist, teacher. Brno-born, he lived in Brno at various times of his life and is connected with a number of its cultural institutions (the magazines BlokHost do domuMeandr, the Brno State Theatre, the Divadlo Na provázku theatre, the Janáček Academy of Fine Arts). His poetic beginnings are tied to surrealism (in the anthology Roztrhané panenky /Ripped-up dolls/), after which he moved to rational (Brechtian) poesy and civic poesy. A hugely prolific author of great breadth of vision. A significant part of his works are translations from German (e.g. the expressionists and B. Brecht) and from French, while his theatrical creations played a key role in the era of greatest renown of Divadlo Na provázku in the 1980s (e.g. his transcription of Comenius’ Labyrint světa a lusthauz srdce (The Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart).

The author and the places of his/her poems

Stará radnice - Brněnský drak (Old Town Hall - Brno Dragon)

The poem and the place

The city with XY fingers


The Brno crocodile’s a dragon, so it is. As is well known. You see it is like this: He was not born, but spat out of the earth. Earth cobbled doubtlessly and dark, devoid of mirth. And she has not spat him out yet, she’s constantly out-spitting. Not always, mind, but always when she hears lies unremitting. To this the earth, especially when cobbled, is very touchy. They will give it a name one day: THE COBBLES’ ALLERGY. And so there is no dragon here, but dragons, but not ones you can see, because they are hidden between the cobble cracks, there, where it’s dark, and they have begun to gnaw at everyone who has uttered some lie. Which is why there are already many gnawed-at walking among us, but it is not yet so clear to see, but it will be, once they are completely gnawed away and when, as is only just, the fable of the Brno crocodile has spread, the latest-minted fable for your trust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                translated by Václav Pinkava

Kundera, Ludvík: Fragment, Brno: Blok 1967, p. 27.


Jiří Trávníček  -   travnicek@ucl.cas.cz
Michal Fránek  -   franek@ucl.cas.cz

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