To Buy Oneself an Itch or To Eat One’s Women – Arctic literature in Czech language

An online lecture by Zdeněk Lyčka, a translator and polar explorer.

Do you know which Arctic books have recently been published in their Czech translations? And what books will be published in the short future? Do you want to know about some of the toughest nuts to crack while translating Arctic literature? Then we invite you to the lecture given by Zdeněk Lyčka, a renowned Czech translator from English and Danish, an expert on the Arctic and, last but not least a traveller and explorer. He will talk about the specifics of the Arctic literature and about the problems related to translating Greenlandic or Sami names and other specific words. You will get to learn what tupilak, umiak, ulu or tuilik mean, and you will hear some of the excerpts from both the old myths and modern literature.

There will also be a mention of the Czech/Arctic relations and a small teaser for the Artic Festival, which has been rescheduled to September 2021.

Time and place:
22. 4. 2021 18.00
ONLINE stream on Facebook

Free entrance, no fee.

Zdeněk Lyčka studied engineering in Ostrava and Danish-English philology in Prague. Before the Velvet Revolution, he worked as an IT specialist and in 1990, he began his career at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was the director of the Czech Centre in Stockholm (1998–2002) and the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Denmark (2008–2013). Until 2016, he was the Director General of the Czech Centres. He translates Scandinavian and Anglo-American literature and writes his own books. Along with Viola Somogyi, he was awarded the Creative Award within the 1998 Josef Jungmann Prize (for their translation of Greenlandic myths and legends). His other translations include Sami stories and fairy tales, such as The Man Who Bought Himself an Itch (translated with Viola Somogyi), Inuit legends – Of Igimarasussuk, Who Ate His Women, Knud Rasmussen’s Greenlandic Myths and Legends and Homo Sapienne, an experimental prose by young Greenlandic writer Niviaq Korneliussen.

He is also a traveller and explorer; he enjoys kayaking and cross-country skiing. He participated in the Vasaloppet (fourteen times) and in 2010, in the Arctic Circle Race in Greenland.  In 2011, he crossed a glacier in Greenland on cross-country ski and three years later, he kayaked from Prague to the North Sea. Last year, he crossed over the frozen Baykal lake. He wrote several books about his travels.

Zdeněk Lyčka and Knud Rasmussen

The event is a part of a year-long project of the Scandinavian House: “Nordic literature in the heart of Europe 2021”, which has been supported by Prague municipality and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Pictures: The personal archive of Zdeněk Lyčka.