China-Czech Cultural Exchange Gains New Momentum

2016-03-28 22:01:52 | From:

Chinese President Xi Jinping's forthcoming trip to the Czech Republic is expected to help enhance cultural ties between the two countries.

CRI's Li Jianhua reports.


Chinese literature was first introduced into the former Czechoslovakia back in the 1930s, when Jaroslav Prusek founded the Prague School of Sinology.

Prusek and his contemporaries were the first in the country to begin translating classical Chinese titles.

One of Prusek's students, Oldrich Kral, studied Chinese literature in Beijing in the 1950s.

He then returned to Prague to begin his own research into classical Chinese novels.

"Before the China trip, I did my graduate studies under Professor Pr??ek, specializing in Chinese fiction. My thesis was about 'The Scholars,' which is a satirical novel penned by Qing Dynasty writer Wu Jingzi."

Kral is now a Professor of Chinese Studies and Comparative Literature at Charles University in Prague.

Since he began working on Chinese literature in 1949, Kral has managed to translate more than a dozen titles into Czech, including several Taoist classics, as well as the pinnacle of Chinese fiction, the 'Dream of the Red Mansion' written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty.

"Dream of the Red Mansion" took Kral around 15-years to fully translate, finally putting into circulation in 2003.

His work has earned him awards from Chinese authorities, praising him for his contribution to cultural exchange.

Asked about Xi Jinping's stop this week in the Czech Republic, Kral says he's got high expectations.

"It will be the start of a new era for our mutual relationship. China and the Czech Republic have a lot of interesting things to share and exchange with each other. I hope this is the start of something new."

Zuzana Li is another translator who has devoted her career to making contemporary Chinese literature available in the Czech language.

She says more and more people in the Czech Republic are taking an interest in Chinese literature.

"The average reader in the Czech Republic tends to prefer classic Chinese literature, mostly because those books were translated quite some time ago, and had a significant publication run. As for contemporary works, best sellers like "Wolf Totem" and the work of Mo Yan have made quite an impact too."

Zuzana Li says Chinese literature is just one aspect of the growing ties between China and the Czech Republic.

"We have noticed that Czech readers have become increasingly interested in Chinese writers, and publishers here are also commissioning more translations. So I believe that in terms of literature and other cultural aspects, our countries will enjoy closer exchanges and better communication."

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in the Czech Republic from Monday to Wednesday.

For CRI, this is Li Jianhua.

Your Comment


Related News