Karel Čapek (1890 – 1938) Čapek is one of the leading Czech writers, journalists and play writers. Since he was 21 he suffered from Bechterew‘s disease which has symptoms of strong back pain. His condition was projected on his work as well as on his life because for that reason he was not allowed to join the army. Even so the war did form a major part in his work. He was a friend of T.G.Masaryk and the Hovory s T. G. Masarykem came into existence thanks to their friendship. The work serves as the evidence of the Masaryk’s opinions of everything not only the political issues. For his most famous work is considered the utopia novel Krakatit or the War with the Newts. Furthermore, he wrote works like the noetic trilogy called the Stories from a Pocket and Stories from Another Pocket, The White Disease or R.U.R. where he first used the word robot.
Franz Kafka (1883 – 1924) He was a German-language writer with Czech origins and he lived with his family in Prague. He had three sisters and two brothers. The most significant person in his life was Milena Jesenská with whom he kept in touch by correspondence for his whole life. Jesenská together with Pavel Eisner and Jan Grmela translated Kafka’s works into the Czech language. According to Kafka’s acquaintances he was a very smiling, kind and sensitive person. Kafka spent the very end of his life in sanatoriums and spas. Speaking of his work, we should not forget to mention the Trial, the Metamorphosis, the Amerika and the Castle. Kafka’s works were valued even after his death and nowadays they belong to the popular world classics.
Milan Kundera (1929) As a young man Kundera lived in Brno where he also studied. Later he was admitted at FAMU where he later became an assistant professor and even an associate professor. During a period of his life he was in the Communist party from which he was twice excluded. In the following years he called for reformation of the contemporary culture politics. In 1975 he immigrated to France where he currently lives. Gradually he started to lecture at the university in Rennes and later in Paris. He was appointed by the Légion d‘Honneur. Key works of his life are the Laughable Loves, the Joke, The Farewell Waltz, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and last but not least the Immortality.
Jan Amos Komenský (1592 – 1670) Komenský is a huge name from the Czech history. He became known mostly for his teaching career. He was a creator of the compact educational system and he published many publications in his field. The most illustrious is the globally-known The Gate of Languages Unlocked or even more famous Orbis Pictus (The Visible World in Pictures). Komenský is known as a teacher of nations thanks to his work focused on didactics and education. Besides the works already mentioned he delved into the consciousness of public for his work called Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart
Jaroslav Hašek (1883 – 1923) Jaroslav Hašek is the author of the most translated book in the Czech history and that is The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War. It was translated into more than 58 languages. It is a collection of four satirical books with the unforgettable main character of soldier Švejk. The work was criticized at first, but gradually it gained favour and nowadays it already has several adaptations not only in the movies but also in theatres. Hašek also devoted part of his life to journalism; he contributed to the journal called České slovo. Besides Švejk he published a great number of other works, none of them though was as successful as Švejk.
Jaroslav Seifert (1901 – 1986) He is the only Nobel Laureate in the Czech history. He was an initiator of Czech poetism. As a native of Prague he was a journalist when he was young, and he contributed to many newspapers. Later he left journalism and he started to be concerned with literature and particularly poetry. He was awarded state prizes several times for his work. Collections like Na vlnách TSF, Maminka and Koncert na ostrově are some of the best works that Czech poetry can present. When he won the Nobel Prize Seifert he was already too ill to attend the ceremony so in his place his daughter came to collect the prize.