Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

In the early seventies, when repressive and violent dictatorships took over Eastern Europe and did not allow citizens to breathe, perhaps only The one who hosted writers from the Western world and the free world was Ivan Klima.

BingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

In the early seventies, when repressive and violent dictatorships took over Eastern Europe and did not allow citizens to breathe, perhaps only The one who hosted writers from the Western world and the free world was Ivan Klima.

Philip Roth, the prominent American writer, was his guest every time he visited Prague. Kalima showed him the corner of the city. It introduced writers who sold cigarettes or swept the floors of public buildings, raised bricks in half-finished buildings, cleaned boots and coats in the city's water fountains to earn a bite of bread so that they could read the book they had left in their pockets. , to read.

Kalima takes the hands of his audience like Philip Roth, takes them to the seventies and eighties and shows them living in a repressive, authoritarian and communist dictatorship.

Two years later, with his father, mother and brother The crime of being a Jew was sent to a concentration camp in the city of Theresienstadt. He was imprisoned there for almost four years without a gas chamber. However, he saw hundreds of dead bodies. He experienced death daily. Touching the dead body did not excite him. Despite witnessing the daily transportation of his fellow prisoners to the Auschwitz camp, he miraculously survived. He read the book "Pickwick's Letters" by Charles Dickens dozens of times, traveled in the fantasy world to the world of "Sam Weller" and "Nathaniel Winkle" and experienced living in freedom.

Young Ivan who discovered The ruling power can easily annihilate and destroy people, he started writing. He took risks and performed his plays using his handmade dolls.

He created a girl in his mind, fell in love with her and dreamed of living with her. The feeling of mental freedom that he experienced in the forced labor camp has not left him until today.

After being freed from the prison of the Nazi German government, he watched the Communist government take over his country. His father's imprisonment at the hands of mercenary compatriots saw the attempt to integrate society and stabilize and maintain autocratic values.

He worked as a journalist and author and graduated from the School of Language and Literature of the University of Prague. The seventies were the worst years of his life. "Prague Spring" with the invasion of the tanks of the Soviet army turned into a cold winter and a harsh dictatorship of twenty-one years, which took him as one of the staunch opponents of the communist government.

He who spent the last days of his studies in United States, he had to make the most difficult decision of his life, which was to choose between self-imposed exile or living with his family members under the supervision of a brutal and tyrannical government. Everyone warned that he would be sent to Siberia. But he, who was a journalist and writer, planned to be in the heart of the events after returning to his country, to see the events closely and to testify.

In March of the first year of the seventies, he returned home. His name was on the blacklist along with four hundred thousand other names prepared by the government to make those who were involved in the events of the Prague Spring unemployed. , were university professors, writers, radio and television programmers, journalists, directors, painters, photographers, cinema and theater artists, union members, etc. They took Kalima so that he could only do menial jobs to meet his living expenses. His home phone was disconnected. If a work with his name was published abroad, he would go to prison. The royalties that international newspapers and magazines deposited into his account were confiscated.

But he did not stop. He stood still. He founded a reading society that quickly gained forty-five members. At least two of them - Milan Kundera and Vaclav Havel - were famous.

One of the members of the association cooperated with the security service and the association collapsed. Kalima did not disappoint. He reproduced the stories, poems, plays and articles written with the cooperation of his companions and distributed them among friends, colleagues and interested parties. In almost two decades of activity, he distributed more than 230 works in the circulation of several thousand copies in embassies, cafes, newsstands, stores, bookstores, libraries, etc. The government security service was never able to prevent their distribution due to the rapid movement.

In the two dark decades he left behind, he experienced driving an ambulance, sweeping, customs assessment, bakery, etc. for a living. He wrote one of his most important works, the novel "Love and Garbage" while he was a sweeper.

After the events of 1989, the beginning of Prestoria, the collapse The Soviet Union and the communist government of Czechoslovakia, he spoke to his countrymen after twenty years. Stunned people thought their favorite author was in exile or died. Ivan Klima, one of the best Czech writers who has 30 novels, short stories, biographies, etc. Freedom has arrived. He is now studying and writing in a cozy and quiet corner.

In this article, an important part of his works, which were first introduced to Iranian book lovers by Forough Puriaveli and Khashayar Dehimi, well-known translators, are introduced. .

Neither an angel, nor a saintBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

This novel takes the audience to the heart of Prague Meybard, where some young people used drugs in the ruins. Christina, the main character of the story, is a woman who is separated from her husband and lives in her forties. She is the mother of a girl named Yana, who is fifteen years old and rebellious. Christina gradually falls in love with a young man who is fifteen years younger than her; But her happiness is marred by worries: Yana has dropped out of school and is very likely addicted to drugs. It is during these days that Christina's mother gives her a suitcase full of private letters of her deceased father. The father is an autocratic man, and Christina hates his domineering behavior and Stalinist ideals.

In a part of the novel "No Angel, No Saint", we read:

"- Good people suffer more. They kill because they suffer from the suffering of others.

- When I was born, fifteen years had passed since the death of this skilled writer. He wrote for the only true love of his life: My beloved, for the sake of God, learn to be happy. This is my only wish for you, and apart from your love, you cannot give me anything more beautiful than your happiness. Accept and deal with them as they are. I would like to live in another world, a world where people's work and actions are respected, just opposite to what is common today." Nine Saints by BingMag

My Crazy CenturyBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

Marxism, which is the ideology of communism Formed, nowadays it is partially forgotten. The revolutionary ideas of this school have failed in practice. These days, the world is more threatened by terrorism and is struggling with ISIS and similar ideals. It has forgotten what this thinking used to do in countries and how it could lead to a dictatorship. In this book, the author has tried to deal with that era and explain how he was attracted to the communists in his youth and after a while realized that this path was wrong and distanced himself from it.

In a part of the book "Crazy Century "I" reads:

"Now I can't remember exactly the furnishings of that new apartment; A vague memory of a green chest, a library with an azure bowl on it, and a large map of Europe and North Africa hanging on the wall of the room, from which the father would follow the developments of the war. Apparently, things were not good. The German army was easily taking all those colored spots on the map, spots whose names I had learned without fail: Holland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia. In addition to all this, Hitler made a pact with someone named Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union, according to which the two empires were now considered friends. This news surprised the father. I also realized that this was a bad omen, because the spot on the map showing the Soviet Union was so huge that if you folded the map it would cover the rest of Europe. There were many boys and girls there that we could play with. I loved soccer and I was almost good at it; The next time I played basketball, because there were many places to hide in that neighborhood.

Then, with the issuance of a decree by the protectorate government, I was banned from going to school, the cinema, or the park, and a little later they said I should be a star. To wear on my clothes that made me feel ashamed, because I knew that mark would separate me from others. However, at this time, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. At first, the father was happy. He said it was the end of Hitler, because everyone who had ever attacked Russia had failed, even Napoleon the Great, and that was long before the Russians had built a highly progressive system of government."

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My Dangerous JourneysBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

Historical and individual memory have unknown rules that sometimes get mixed up. It can be said that the book "My Dangerous Journeys" is also a combination of history and personal memory. Reading the memoirs of the author, leading characters and even children parade in front of us. With good and bad characters, opportunists, those who extend a hand of friendship in times of need. He left the whole thing for himself It was, that the janitor of the building, Mr. Yellen, had only one room for himself and his family under our kitchen and he cooked, ate and slept in the same room.

When Mr. Yellen shouted at his family and the woman Or his son (and sometimes both) would beat the wind, I felt that these issues were happening right next to our stove. The landlord had a son named Ondra and a daughter named Yaroshka. The janitor's son, Carl, and several other boys and girls from the neighboring house, played on the asphalt of football or central street, at that time almost no cars passed by.

In the neighboring house, with the pharmacist, lived a fat man who As soon as the Nazis invaded Prague, he immediately sewed the sign of the swastika on his leather coat. In the building where the grocery store was, there lived a half-Czech-half-German family, with the very beautiful Czech name of Topol. Mr. Topol worked on the railroad and had a daughter named Louisa, who was a little older than me. His younger brother was called Mirk. Parents had considered being half even in this naming. Louisa had gone to her very beautiful mother, but she was bony and not very attractive. He never laughed or made fun of the pictures of other girls.

Once, at the very beginning of the war, I had a book borrowed from Louisa. Since it hadn't appeared in the street where we used to gather for a few days, I decided to take the book to their house. I didn't want to return the book, but I wanted to see what the inside of the German house looks like. About the Germans, I only knew that they have a picture of a person named Adolf Hitler on the front of their house. Spirit of PragueBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

"Spirit of Prague" is a collection of essays that took fifteen years to write. The book consists of twenty critical essays - a research which at the same time tells the author's biography.

Ivan Kalima in the first chapter, childhood and the strange and horrible living conditions in Tezrin forced labor camp, fear of death. , explains the alertness and joy of living in the moment.

The second chapter consists of short articles about writing, culture and civilization of human societies and the environment. The author has compared the relationship between life and death to the relationship between man and civilization. close communication; So that the destruction of civilization and history causes the death of man. In another place, he states, even if people continue to live after the destruction of civilization, their despair will kill them.

In the third chapter, the characteristics of dictatorial government or totalitarianism are described.

In the articles of the fourth chapter, Kalima deals with religion, tradition and literature and criticizes the secular governments which are based on the separation of religion from politics.

The author dedicates the last chapter of the book to Franz Kafka and his works with a different approach. reviews.

Ney Publishing has presented this wonderful book. In a part of the book "Spirit of Prague" we read:

"Hunger, and forced stay in a closed environment full of guards who followed us, certainly made my childhood very different from the childhood of my peers. But what distinguished my childhood the most was the presence of death.

People died in the same room where I lived. They did not die one by one but in groups. Hearses drove past me throughout my childhood hearse wagons filled to the brim with unpainted wooden boxes with rough wood, wagons that people filled and pulled themselves, people who themselves would soon have to die. Those wagons take place. Every day, by the gate, I read the long list of names of those who had not lived to see the next morning. I had no gas, it seemed to me that the dispatch trains were taking people to an endless place. Anyone who eventually boarded these trains would disappear and never be heard from again. In the last days of the war, when the Nazis evacuated all the camps in Poland and East Germany and transferred the prisoners of these camps to Tezrin, I watched the wagons piled up with the bodies of Derb and Daghan every day. From among the sunken faces of Tadeda, soulless eyes like stone often stared at me, eyes that had no one to close them. Withered hands and feet, and bare skulls sticking out and facing the sky.

When you live with death all around you, you have to, consciously or unconsciously, come to a dogmatic determination. This knowledge or awareness that they may kill you tomorrow creates a thirst for living as passionately as possible. The knowledge or awareness that the person you are talking to may be killed tomorrow, the person you love very much, makes you always afraid to be friends with people."

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Love and TrashBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

"Love and Garbage" in many reviews with the novel "The Unbearable Style of Being" by Milan Kundera, the compatriot of the author of the novel, is compared. Of course, this analogy is true in the aspects related to love, politics and loneliness of modern man, but the lovers of Kalima are fascinated by his special and unique look at love, political-social conditions and the sting of his tone and language. Of course, in addition to all this, Klima's attachment and fascination with Franz Kafka is an issue that is always reflected in his works. It is also reflected in the life and perspective of the main character of the novel. A character with efforts, helplessness and sufferings of living in a society where there is no way to communicate and talk. A society where people are drowned in their own personal tragedies. Failure is the basic element of the protagonist's life in "Love and Garbage". Failure to love in the way he wants will alienate him from his love and family. And this distance is not the end because it is the result of meditating on this inability.

In a part of the book "Love and Garbage" we read:

"The woman who was in the office told me to go to the dressing room to go I was supposed to wait there. So I went through the courtyard to a door that said: Dressing room. The office was soulless and disgusting, and so was the yard. In a corner of it, there was a pile of broken bricks and small stones, a few farghans and several trash cans piled up on top of each other, and there was no sign of flowers or greenery. The man in charge of the dressing room seemed even more disgusting to me. I sat on the chair next to the window, from which I could see the courtyard of the Nation of Nations, and I held my small leather bag tightly in my hand. A bag containing three small sweet cookies, a book and a notebook. A notebook in which I used to write down everything related to the book I was writing in a hurry.

Recently I was writing an article about Kafka. Two other men were also sitting in the dressing room. A tall one with spiky hair that reminded me of the specialist who operated on my tonsils years ago. The second was a short, square-shouldered man whose age could not be estimated, and he was wearing wrinkled and dirty trousers that barely reached his ankles. There were several pockets on his pants that looked more like hideous pistol covers than pockets. There was a golden and shiny anchor on his captain's head. He was looking at me curiously from under the edge of his head with a pair of eyes the color of the shallow coastal waters. Those eyes, or rather, the short glances, seemed somehow familiar to me. He noticed that I was new and asked me to put my ID card on the table. I did as he asked, and when he put his hand next to mine, I noticed that instead of his right hand, a black rake came out of his sleeve.

The sweepers, my new colleagues, slowly arrived. A hunchbacked young man sat next to me with a nervous expression on his face and took out a pair of dirty long boots from the closet and put them on. Some water came out from inside one of the boots, which was most likely not tap water. Suddenly, he started yelling at all of us in a language that I didn't understand a single word of.">Waiting for darkness, waiting for lightBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

This novel is the fate of a director who is caught in the spider web of the government. It portrays an old president who is imprisoned and takes hostages of children to free himself from his motherland.

The president has outlived his two wives and is tired and suffering and has no trust even in his close aides. He is looking for a solution to get rid of the prime minister and his subordinates and to prove his authority by meeting with the director and issuing an amnesty order for the kidnapper who wanted to cross the border by taking students hostage.

In a part of the book "In Waiting for darkness, waiting for light" we read:

"- TV was like a spider's web with many spiders, and not just one spider. They were waiting for you in every corner. Once you were trapped, you couldn't free yourself. And they don't suck your blood right away, they just spin you very slowly inside their web.

- Home is what we carry inside us. Those who have no house within themselves cannot build it, neither with indifference nor with stones.

- Those who have neither the unshakable power nor the courage of public agreement, believe that They take refuge that they can remain somewhere between the two. But this is an illusion."

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Kar GelBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

This book is one of the last works that were published during the reign of communism. "Flower Work" is the narrator of the period when writers, artists and intellectuals refused to cooperate with the Czechoslovak government after the invasion of the Soviet Union army in 1968. In each of the stories of this work, Klima presents an image of the city of Prague, where dancing, publishing books, gathering people, holding parties, expressing opinions, etc. are prohibited by the secret police.

In part of the story collection "Work "Gel" we read:

"I heard the familiar voice coming from the phone; Santa Klaus M. Do you have an hour this afternoon?

- Yes.

The voice said in an inimitable accent that could only come from a man with a Mexican father and an Indian mother. Then he put the phone down.

It was clear that he thought that the shorter our conversation, the less suspicion it would arouse in whoever was listening. Whenever he introduced himself as Santa Claus, it meant that he had returned from one of his many business trips and brought me books.

It was half past eleven and it was snowing heavily. That morning my wife had taken the car and by the time I reached her it was noon. I'm not very fond of driving, but I didn't know how many people Santa Claus bought and brought smuggled books.

It was hard to understand. It was possible that he had brought more than I could carry.

I had met Nicholas by chance. The water pump of my antique Renault car was out of order, after it had been lying motionless in the garage for three months, someone gave me Nicholas's name and address, he said he goes out often and would definitely get me a new water pump. /p>

- Why does he do such a thing when I don't even know him?

The reason is that I am a writer and he loves literature, or more precisely, his wife loves literature.

p>- How should I pay for it?

Don't worry about money: for a rich businessman, a spare part is like a kilo of apples for me. Give him a signed copy of one of your books. Or invite him to lunch.

I was in two minds for almost a month, but when my car's water pump was still scarce, I rang the doorbell of that stranger's house.

Within a week, not just the pump. , that I also had a package of books.

He smiled. He was tall, had brown hair and dark skin. He said he was happy to help me. He said he has the highest respect for art and understands the difficult situation I am in. I gave him one of my books with a dedication and invited him and his wife to dinner. Having grown up in an era of skepticism, I kept my wits about me during my meeting with them and did not divulge the secrets of my writingthe only secrets I could. But Nicholas didn't get curious."

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My first loveBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

Klima's four love stories tell the story of a young man going through the difficult years of his puberty; That too in a land where love, homeland and human emotions must be sacrificed for politics. His first impression of love is when he meets a young girl in the kitchen of the Jewish ghetto, who pours more milk into her glass; After her, a hot and passionate married woman, a spy and finally a fragile woman who has no way to free herself from the bonds of the past. /p> "My father's cousin was celebrating her engagement. Aunt Sylvia was short, brunette, and had a big nose. He was a bank employee before the war; And now he was a gardener, but his future wife - who was originally a lawyer - worked in the food supply department. I didn't know exactly what was going on there, but father had promised us something wonderful at the party, and then Melch Moloch had made a meaningful statement that had aroused a keen interest in my brother and me. My aunt lived in the same barracks as us, in a small room with a small window opening onto the corridor. His room was so small that I could not imagine what it was made for. Perhaps as storage for small items such as horseshoes, whips, or important items (this was formerly a cavalry barracks). In that small room, my aunt had a bed and a small table made with two suitcases. Now he had spread a tablecloth on top of the suitcase and placed some cardboard plates on it and placed open sandwiches in them. They were sandwiches, real sandwiches, and filled with slices of salami, sardines, liver pt, raw turnips, cucumbers and real cheese. Aunt Jan even prepared small lip jam sweets. I noticed that my brother was swallowing his saliva, which had started badly. He had not yet learned to control himself. He had never gone to school. I had been, and had read the story of the cunning Ulysses and the oblivious Paganel, and so I knew something of the gods and the good qualities of men. It was the first time I saw the candidate; A young man with curly hair and round cheeks that had no trace of the hardships of the war."

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QaziBingMag.com Ivan Kalima’s books; Free thinking in the midst of communist repression

There is a point about Ivan Klima, Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, Bhomil Hrabal and many other Eastern European writers that is very important to understand and be careful about. Contrary to what has always been advertised, they did not write against communism or the communist government, but rather attacked post-totalitarian governments that only called themselves communism.

It is enough to consider the hero of the book "Qazi" by Kalima. And pay attention to his thoughts and actions. A judge trapped in a totalitarian government, or in Howell's terms, a post-totalitarian government, is a loving character. All the high human values of communism, i.e. justice, equality, etc., which loves those liberating ideas that were in Marx's thoughts and reached us.

But the poor hero of our story is under pressure in a repressive government and Anti-human, he is condemned to issue the most heinous sentences against innocent citizens and his whole existence is about not being what the government wants him to be. It has penetrated the people of the society and absorbed and erased all human and moral relationships. Ivan Kalima wrote a story in which everyone is being judged and the system measures everyone with its own previous standards. Being a judge in such a regime, what kind of creature does it make a person who wants to remain faithful to man and his freedom? To understand this question and other questions surrounding it, you have to read the novel. In a part of the novel "The Judge", we read:

"Adam Kindle was holding the green case that had just been handed over to him and was standing in the Chief Judge's room. He was waiting for his phone call to end. He could sit, but sitting in that room made him nervous, so he didn't sit and walked around, sometimes distractedly straightening his tie or the hem of his coat.

His appearance was usually unkempt. Sometimes he left a button open and sometimes he trimmed one cheek more cleanly than the other. His wife used to blame him for this matter and emphasized that this irregularity is a sign of his mental disorder. Adam believed that his wife was completely unaware of his state of mind: he himself was sure that he was doing the right thing about important matters and situations. He is faithful to his wife, he drinks moderately, he does not smoke and like his father, he believes that the greatest virtue is perseverance.

There was the sound of passing cars from outside, but he only noticed these sounds when the big trucks passed by loudly. . His daughter calls them dragons. This was when they were still in America. The long-distance trucks there were very big, their colors were bright and cheerful. When they were moving on the highways, they looked like little monsters."

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