Read Around the World May 2022 – The Czech Republic
May 2022 and we headed off vicariously to the Czech Republic…
Fun facts from this website
- It has the most castles in Europe. There are over 2000 castles and chateaux in the Czech Republic, more than in any other country in Europe. Some of the most famous ones are the Hluboká Castle, Orlík Castle, Lednice Castle and Karlštejn Castle.
- The Czech Republic is home to the largest ancient castle in the world. The largest ancient castle in the world is the Prague Castle, 570m long and 128m wide.
- Prague’s Old Town is home to the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world. Every hour, it’s mechanical processional of apostles delights tourists.
- Czech people are the world’s heaviest consumers of beer. The first pale lager, Pilsner Urquell, was brewed in the Czech city Pilsen in 1842.
- Prague’s nickname is “the city of a hundred spires” The Czech capital city has lived up to this name and more, as today there are over 500.
- The most popular sport is ice hockey.
- Soft contact lenses were invented by a Czech chemist.
- The world “robot” was created by the Czech artist Josef Čapek. It was first used by Czech author Karel Čapek in his novel R.U.R. It was his brother Josef Čapek who is credited with creating the word.
- The world-famous Škoda Auto is based in the Czech Republic.
I chose to visit the Czech Republic via The Joke by Milan Kundera . Goodreads says this about the book: “All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now though, a quarter century after The Joke was first published, and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book (and all Kundera ‘s work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature, that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence.”
Personally I found it scary how a simple joke can lead to a betrayal by people you consider to be friends and how taken out of context that same joke can destroy a life. A valuable insight into life under an authoritarian regime where obedience to the party is valued against all else.
I enjoyed the different overlapping narratives and the cyclical nature of the book.
Other readers visited in the following ways:
Currey from Litsy – The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera this was rated pick.
Currey from Litsy – Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal this was rated pick
Did you join us on our visit? Let us know what you read.
Next up we are visiting Liberia let us know your reading plans