2 publishers awarded by Czech Republic
By Do Je-hae
Two Korean publishers were honored by the Czech Republic in Seoul recently for their efforts to promote Czech literature to local readers.
The founding CEOs of two Korean publishing houses _ Hong Ji-woong of Open Books and Lim Hyung-uk of Happy Reading Books _ were the recipients of Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs´ medal for promoting Czech-Korean ties.
They were awarded during a ceremony at the Czech Info Center in Mapo-gu, Seoul, by Deputy Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic Radek Zdrahal.
Both companies have been instrumental in promoting Czech literature in Korean translations recently.
Open Books, which celebrate this year its 25th anniversary and published more than 1,000 titles, published the first Korean edition of a complex novel “War with the Newts” by Karel Capek. Three more dramas by Capek, the most important Czech writer before Milan Kundera, are to be published by Open Books later this year.
The second medal went to small publishing house Happy Reading Books, which published three different short story anthologies of Czech writers this year.
The first of these books was an anthology of stories about Czech capital Prague, followed by an anthology of short story classics of the turn of the 19th and 20th century, and the very first Korean edition of a Czech science fiction.
The ceremony took place as part of the opening of an exhibition by Czech-American artist Peter Sis at the Czech Info Center.
The exhibition is one of the activities of the five-week-long Czech cultural festival named “Czech Points in Seoul,” featuring more than 20 different events in 15 places around the capital of Korea
The festival is being organized and coordinated by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Korea in cooperation with numerous Czech and Korean institutions and festivals.
It is the biggest such Czech event in the 21-years-long history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.