From Tahiti to China: Czech Literature Seizing the World

Tuesday November 29, 2022
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

How much influence can literature of one small land-locked country wield outside its borders? Surprisingly, a lot, as evidenced by the various linguistic and cultural phenomena that had occurred around the world because of Czech fiction. This online talk is part of the Slavic Lecture Series.

Join lecture via Zoom here:

Title: “From Tahiti to China: Czech Literature Seizing the World”

Abstract: A quick glance at several twentieth century Czech authors will reveal, for example, how adventure novels brought about the opening of the first bookstore as well as the first driving school in Tahiti, what are the fictional origins of the universally known word robot, what narrative prompted the fashionable study of Czech language in Korea, and why the word kitsch arrived in China via the pages of a famous novel. The domestic benefits of this literary success will also be discussed.

Bio: Hana Pichova, Professor of Slavic Language and Literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was born in Czechoslovakia. When she was eighteen, her family emigrated to the United States of America. Following her graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, she taught in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Texas and University of North Carolina. Her academic interests deal with twentieth century Czech literature and culture, culminating in two books The Art of Memory in Exile and The Case of the Missing Statue.