Poet, prose writer, essayist, theatre and television director, promoter of Czech literature and culture abroad, regarded as an expert on Central European thought and cultural output.
František Listopad was born on 26 November 1921 in Prague. After graduating from Jirásek Grammer School, he studied Aesthetics and Literary Science at the Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University. During the war he was a member of the illegal Freedom Movement („Hnutí za svobodu“), and his father and sister were imprisoned. He was ewarded Czechoslovak, Yugoslav, and French military decorations.
He was the co-founder of the daily newspaper Mladá fronta. In 1947 , he was the press attaché of the Czechoslovak Embassy in Paris and an editor of the Parisian weekly periodical Parallele 50. After February 1948 he was recalled, but remained in Paris. He worked for ORTF until 1958, when he left for Portugal. He set up a television station in Oporto and, under the name Jorge Listopad, he integrated himself into the creative flows of Portuguese culture. He published texts inter alia about Milena Jesenská. Franz Kafka, Bohumil Hrabal, he translated Czech poetry, he directed productions of Hašek and Havel, and as a correspondent of Portuguese newspapers and an editor of the weekly Jornal de Letras he wrote about Czech cultural issues. He organized a six-month course of Czech music. He received three state awards (literature, drama), four arts press (drama, television production), the Prix de Rome (Venice), and the Bologna prize for children´s literature. In Czechoslovakia, he was awarded the Prize of the Academy of Sciences and Arts (1947) and the Franz Kafka Prize (2002). He is the author of 64 plays and 12 operas and has published more than 50 books written in Czech, Portuguese, and French, which have been translated into various languages (a German edition of an anthology of his poetry is now being prepared). The second volume of his collected works is being published in Portuguese (three volumes have been published in Czech). As a university professor, he was invited by the anthropologist Jorge Dias to establish a Departement of Slavonic Literature and Sociology (Universidade Técnica, Universidade Nova). For the twelve years prior to his retirement, he was the principal of five art schools run by the State Conservatory. He was the director of the National Theatre "experimental stage". On the occasion of the National Holiday of the Czech Republic in 2001, he was decorated by the then President Václav Havel. His achievements have also been recognized by Charles University, and Masaryk University in Brno has conferred an honorary doctorate on him.
František Listopad´scontribution lies not just in the highly regarded quality of his cultural output, but also in his selfless organizing and teaching activities. He represents Czech culture, disseminating its growing influence and weighty inner claim to have its own inimitable, sensitive voice in the concert of the world. In the Oxford Who´s Who he was named the international personality of 2004, and he also merits his own entry in the Cambridge Dictionary.
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