The Franz Kafka Prize

2012 - Daniela Hodrová

Born: 5 July 1946, Prague, Czech Republic

Field: Czech Literature

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Daniela Hodrová

About Daniela Hodrová

Hodrová was born in Prague on 5 July 1946. She completed her postgraduate studies in French and comparative literature. In 1972–75, she worked as an editor of Slavonic literature in the Odeon publishing house. Since 1975, she worked at the Institute of Czech Literature of the Academy of Sciences (prior to 1993 known as the Institute of Czech and World Literature of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences), where she is now a Senior Researcher.

Her novels typically incorporate topics from her work as a literary scholar, "especially the classification of novels into roman-realité and the roman-invention, or the pioneering theory about the meaning and forms of the initiation storyline in a work of literature." Her books have been published also in French, German and Polish.

She is perhaps best known for a trilogy called Trýznivé město (Agonizing city), they are distinctive "Prague novels, which aim to convey emblematically the genius loci of this central European city, of whose history Hodrová highlights the tragic features."


Prague - Daniela Hodrová

By Booker "Booker"

"For me the city was at first a word - Prague"

Originally commissioned for a French series of alternative guidebooks, Hodrova's novel is a conscious addition to the tradition of Prague literary texts by, for example, Karel Hynek Macha, Jakub Arbes, Gustav Meyrink and Franz Kafka, who present the city as a hostile living creature or a labyrinthine place of magic and mystery in which the individual human being may easily get lost.

Suffused with the atmosphere of the year following the fall of the Communist regime, "Prague, I See a City..." takes the form of a novel of quest, in which the hero abandons the material world of everyday society and linear history, perceiving it as false, temporary and distracting, and journeys in search of his true identity.

With a forward by Rajendra A. Chitnis, Senior Lecturer, Russian and Czech, University of Bristol.