Jiří Voskovec And Jan Werich - Correspondence, Part 1

5-6 2007 Kultura English
obálka čísla

Was there any further cooperation between the two famous artists and friends after WWII? Several of their plays were produced again, and they both appeared in the production of “The Man Who Came To Dinner (Prisel na veceri) There is also a recording of their telephone conversation of 1965 called “Dialogue Across The Ocean” which can be found on the LP entitled “Klobouk ve krovi”. There is also a recording of their meeting in Vienna in 1974. Part of it can be found in Voskovec’s LP called “Relatively Speaking”( Relativne vzato). In addition to all this, we must not forget that they corresponded for many years and that their correspondence, which was very rich, personal and specific, may be considered another part of their cooperative effort.

Their CORRESPONDENCE, VOLUME I was published by Acropolis (Jiri Tomas) with the support of the Jan and Meda Mladek Foundation. Because of the extent of the correspondence, two additional volumes will be published in the future.

Volume I contains 130 letters and cards from the years 1945-1962. Much of it is entertaining, some is political( when Werich was traveling outside of his homeland and could write freely), some very sad from the time that Voskovec’s wife was dying of cancer. Included here is also a letter sent to Ferdinand Peroutka, dated 8/23/1950 when Voskovec was detained on Ellis Island.

It was a stroke of luck that Voskovec’s wife Christine donated all of her husband’s correspondence to the Howard Gottlied Archival Research Center at Boston University. It was also lucky that Mrs. Meda Mladek knew the Voskovec family very well and that she obtained permission for publication. In addition, Dr. Ladislav Matejka, a well-known expert in Slavic Studies agreed to edit the entire collection because he was very interested in the whole correspondence. He travels daily to downtown Boston to the University, where he must copy all the individual letters for subsequent editing. So far, the first volume is finished (about 350 pages) and Professor Matejka is working on the second volume.

Ivan Kott
Translation by Marie Dolanska

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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