Culture

 

Author whose work sparked hit movies remembered

 
photo:  (radio.cz)
 

Friends recall writer Petr Šabach, whose stories became the basis for some of the best-loved Czech films of recent years and who died at the weekend.

 
 

The Prague-born short-story writer Petr Šabach died on Saturday at the age of 66. However, many Czechs know Šabach not primarily from his books but from the hit movies based on his work that found a place in the national consciousness in recent decades.

Perhaps his best-loved legacy is Pelíšky (Cosy Dens), which offered a bittersweet and very funny portrayal of life under communism.

Jan Hřebejk’s 1999 film was based on short stories gathered in the collection Hovno hoří (Shit Burns), which drew heavily on Šabach’s own life growing up in the Prague 6 district in the 1960s.

In an interview with Czech Radio last year, he discussed his receipt of the Karel Čapek prize, in part for inspiring young readers.

“If there’s some connection with the young generation… what I have experienced personally is that several times at talks mothers have come up to me and said, You know, it’s interesting – our idiot of a son doesn’t read at all, except for your books. I’ve always said it must be because of the title Shit Burns. But maybe there is something in it.”

Petr Šabach’s stories were also adapted for other Hřebejk films, including Pupendo and the hit early 1990s musical Šakalí léta (Big Beat).

The music for the latter was written by Šabach’s boyhood friend and one-time flatmate Ivan Hlas.

The writer was known for his love of pubs and Hlas said he was just as great a storyteller over a pivo as he was on the page.

“His stories made broad-ranging observations and were very human and deep. And they always had a large degree of humour. So I would compare him to Hašek or Hrabal, in the way he looked at people.”

Prague-based humorous writer Steve Fisher was also a friend of Petr Šabach’s. The pair first met when Šabach was so impressed by the American’s magazine columns that he got his publishers Paseka to put them out. Steve Fisher:

“I will remember him as the person to whom I owe becoming a published writer. And I’ll also just remember the way that he so perfectly captured life in this country and the sly, absurd irony of his stories, which I was first introduced to – probably like most people – not as much through his books but through the films that were based on his books, like Pelíšky and Pupendo, which made me laugh out loud.”

 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 18.09.2017
 
 
 

Related articles

 
Culture
 
 

Maori group to mark Havel’s visit to...

Prague’s O2 Arena is set to see a very special concert next week. One of the most popular Czech bands...

 
 
Culture
 
 

British violinist stars in Prague...

The renowned British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is set to make her debut with the Czech Philharmonic in...

 
 
Culture
 
 

Ashes of first Czech Oscar winner...

The remains of Czech actor Ivan Jandl were interred today at Prague’s Vyšehrad cemetery thirty years...

 
 
Culture
 
 

Prague Writers’ Festival focuses on...

‘The Fire Next Time’ is the main theme of this years’ annual Prague Writers’ Festival, which gets...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

 
 

Facebook recent activity