česky  english 

Advanced search
Photo: (@MZV)
Article notification Print Decrease font size Increase font size

Czech Nobel Prize-awarded poet now in Filipino

A thick selection of the very best poems by 1984 Nobel Prize-awardee Jaroslav Seifert is the most recent addition to the Aklat ng Bayan series—a collection of award-winning literary works from prestigious local and international writers translated in Filipino. Published by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), the 300-page volume Sa Prága: Mga Piling Tula ni Jaroslav Seifert brings the best samples of the work of the prolific Czech poet who has been active writer for more than six decades. Despite being a left-wing intellectual and a member of the Communist Party in his early years, Seifert eventually became one of the opponents of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia after the World War II, which led to his being placed under close observance of its secret police and to the censorship of his books during the period.

Ambassador Olsa and Chairman Almario with the translators and editors of Sa Praga.

Ambassador Olsa and Chairman Almario with the translators and editors of Sa Praga.

As varied was his life, as different was his work – and all his types of writing could be found in the Filipino selection. Translated by a team of translators from group of young poets LiRA and led by Roberto T. Anonuevo and Gian Lauro Abrahan V, the selected poems are both avant-garde and agitational, romantic as well as realistic.

Jaroslav Seifert is the most widely translated Czech poet to date—his books have appeared in majority of European languages as well as in dozen editions in Japanese and Chinese. His books have been translated to Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi as well, thus making the recent Filipino version the sixth Asian language that Seifert´s works were translated to. Sa Prága is quite possibly only the second book-length translation from any Slavonic language from Central Europe to Tagalog/Filipino. Exactly one hundred years ago, book by another Nobel Prize-awardee, Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz, a widely popular novel Quo Vadis? (Saan Ka Paparoon?) about early Christians and their struggle against Emperor Nero´s brutality in Ancient Rome, saw its Tagalog edition translated by Aurelio Tolentino in 1915.

During the launching, Ambassador Olsa also handed to Chairman Almario a copy of the recent special edition of PLAV, a Czech monthly, where a selection of Filipino masterpieces were translated to Czech. This was witnessed by Spanish Ambassador Luiz Calvo and Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng.

Sa Prága: Mga Piling Tula ni Jaroslav Seifert was launched by the Chairman of the KWF Virgilio S. Almario and Czech Ambasador to Manila Jaroslav Olša, jr. in the  presence of many Philippine writers, translators and publishers during the 2015 Manila International Book Fair. Also launched at the same event was the first book-length Filipino translation of Metamorphosis (Ang Metamorposis) by Franz Kafka, another writer who spent almost all his life in the Czech capital city, Prague.

Also present at the launching of „Sa Praga“ is National Artist F. Sionil Jose, whose works were also featured and translated in PLAV.