Art And Culture

‘Skeleton Under the Carpet’ Published in Persian

Ivan Klima signing his book  ‘My Crazy Century’Ivan Klima signing his book  ‘My Crazy Century’

The Persian translation of ‘Kostlivec pod Kobercem’ (Skeleton Under the Carpet), a novel by Czech playwright and novelist Ivan Klima, 84, has been published by Jahan-Ketab Cultural-Artistic Institute in Tehran.

Reza Mirchi, based in the Czech Republic has translated the book. In 82 pages, the book tells the story of corrupt politicians in a fictional country named Chemersko, ILNA reported.

Klima is one of the most frequently translated Czech authors and recipient of the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize (2002), the Magnesia Litera (2010), the Karel Capek Award (2010) and the Ferdinand Peroutka Award (2013).

When Klima received the Franz Kafka Prize, he said: “The older I get, the more it comes to my attention that all fames and praises are just momentary phenomena. In a hurried state of fearlessness, stuffed with information, we forget nearly everything before we understand it … Our age represents transiency of created works.”

He belongs to a generation who has experienced the World War II and its direct consequences for quite a long time. “I started to write under the influence of the wartime and the crimes that took toll on many of my companions. I wrote with all my feelings; maybe in naiveté, but realistically. Humans should try not to repeat the bitter experiences they have undergone. For me, writing is a means of addressing readers and discussing the responsibility we have toward our world.”

The title of his book in the Czech language signifies “a shameful secret hidden somewhere close.” Klima speaks humorously of hypocrisy and corruption among the men of power governing Chemersko, in his work.

Here are a few lines from the book, written in 2005: “In Chemersko, politics is categorized into minor and major areas. Minor politics deal with insignificant affairs like potable water, wastewater facilities, waste management, road maintenance, education and safety.

Major politics, however, deals with grave issues such as: international contracts, foreign travel, purchase of military aircraft, construction of highways and nuclear power plants, privatization of bankrupt state banks, broadcasting permit and state budget.

Competent politicians dwell on minor politics where money is scarce. Major politics is ridden with incompetent politicians, but involves massive amounts of money.

Big politicians have big tendencies among which high wage, luxurious residence, legal immunity and party politics are of higher priority.  Their friends are numerous, including media celebrities, advisors, specialists and harmless fans. They have only two adversaries: voters and media.

Getting in the favor of these two adversaries is the worst task for big politicians. They have to get along with the voters only once in four years. But dealing with the media is harder …”

  Life of Ivan Klima

Klim was born in Prague in September 1931. As a child he spent three years in the Terezin Ghetto/ Concentration Camp.

In 1968, Klima and his friends challenged the validity of the imposing communist system in which “a handful of people” are in charge of “what is to be thought, and what is to be desired”.

The response was brutal. Klima was expelled from the Communist Party, banned from writing, and his passport was confiscated.

He was subjected to repeated searches of his apartment and numerous interrogations by the secret police. Klima appears to have taken all this in fairly good humor. But his disgust is never far from the surface. Having his house searched, for example, leaves him feeling “as if a revolting insect had been crawling all over everything, leaving behind sticky phlegm.”

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