Editor’s Word - Moving Again

9-10 2007 Slovo redakce English
obálka čísla

Our office has a brand new location. And what a beautiful place it is! In the Klementinum, in the National Library. In case somebody doesn’t know where it is, here are the directions. Crossing the Charles Bridge, you walk not down Karlova Street, but a little farther on the left into the gateway of a huge and beautiful palace. It had been built by the Jesuits in the 17th century.

Of course you may enter the gate from the Marianske Namesti right across from the City Hall, or directly from Karlova ulice. The palace had been built in the form of a square and in the center is a court. In one of the corners (called, In the Tower) is our office. If you enter through the first gateway, by Charles Bridge, it’s directly across the court.

A while ago I took advantage of the fabulous technical invention, the SKYPE to talk to my colleague and good friend Vlasta Lazu who’s the editor of Czech and Slovak broadcasting in Romanian radio in Temesvar. Besides that, I promised to visit her in Romania in the near future. After all, our people emigrated there hundred and fifty years ago and more just as they did for example to the USA. I told her the news about our new office with the comment that every time I decide to give up the magazine, the heavens send some sort of a positive signal and I have to go on. She said,” you are lucky to meet such good people. You should thank them.” Before I do that, please allow me a short recapitulation:

In 1990 I founded the magazine and started publishing it from my flat in Prague. It all took place in my 10m2 bedroom where me and my dedicated colleague Helenka Kovarikova often bumped butts when trying to pick something up from the floor. Of course in that tiny bedroom there were files and papers even all over the floor. Helenka came and offered her secretarial skills as a volunteer at the age of seventy. She is with us to this day. She had asked for only one thing, a smile as a reward. I wish to offer my sincere apologies to her for not always smiling: on the contrary I was often nervous and disagreeable. Whoever experienced publishing a magazine from a bedroom, bureaucracy related to it, scraping up money to pay the printer’s, taking care of distribution on one’s own plus a thouthousand other things, would understand. For those who have not had that experience, it would be useless to explain…except perhaps in my upcoming cheerful book, “From the Diary of an Editor”.

In 1994 my mother passed away. She left me a large room with a balcony in Holesovice, into which I moved my office. Every Wednesday we had a meeting which was attended by our manager Mirka Johanysova, our new helper and editor Marina Huzvarova, and our young secretary, Mirka Hanzlova the sixteen-year old daughter of our helper in various editorial tasks, Jirina Hanzlova. For some time there came to help the editor, Maruska Jindrova. As you can clearly see, we were all women.

Then came the hopeful season when our magazine prospered. Martin Stransky took it under his wings and our quarters were quickly transferred to the Topicovy Domy on the prestigious Narodni Trida. Not only did we have a rather luxurious office, but also we had at our disposal Mirka the secretary, Jitka the propagation representative, Karel a distributor, and Mr. Marik with a company car who dropped off and picked up whatever was necessary. He even took me to the airport. The Czech Dialogue became affiliated with The New Presence, a magazine, founded by Martin Stransky’s grandfather. After three years however, times changed for the worse. For more or less political reasons, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to subscribe to the magazine and send it abroad as it did beforehand. So Mr. Stransky was sorry to tell us that he could no longer support us, and gave us notice. Fortunately, the heavens came to the rescue, with Mr. Alexander Tomsky offering us space at the headquarters of his publishing firm, Academia. So in the fall of 2000, we moved again, this time to Legerova Street. Only me and Marina were left, but in time, Marina had to find a more lucrative job. Martina Fialkova joined forces with me at that time and stayed even after I had to move again, more than a year ago, this time from Legerova back to my own flat because the building there was being renovated.

And now we have found a friendly haven in the Klementinum thanks to Mr. Vlastimil Jezek, the director of National Library.

I would like to thank him and all the good people who have ever helped us as well as those who are helping us now. Those are of course also all authors and translanters and our representatives in the world and many others... there is not enough room to mention everybody but my thanks are sincere..

Eva Strizovska Translated by Paula Schultz

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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