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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Franz Kafka, Prophet of Prague (BBC Radio 3, Sunday May 10th); Prague and Kafka; Misha Glenny; Metamorphosis

"Prophet Of Prague (Sunday 10 May, 6.45pm-7.30pm) examines how Kafka's life and ideas were shaped by his native city at a critical point in European history. Born and bred in Prague, since he died in 1924 the writer has cut an ambivalent figure on the city’s cultural landscape. Today an icon of the city, his books were once banned and considered a threat to the communist regime.

In this special Sunday Feature Misha Glenny, who worked as a journalist in Prague in the 1980s, returns to the city which some argue is ever-present in all of Kafka’s fiction. He visits the Workers Accident Insurance Institute where Kafka worked as an insurance lawyer for 14 years and examines the global influences on Kafka’s ideas: the esoteric philosophies circulating in Prague’s cafes, the politics and paranoia of an empire in decline and the rising tide of Czech nationalism which threatened to engulf the Jewish old town where the Kafkas lived".

The film on Carlos Atanes' website

Listening to Misha Glenny's radio programme made me think that Prague was (ironically) much more "authentic" in that difficult period when I lived and worked there, from 1986-1989.

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