Czech and Japanese (with consecutive interpretation)
Czech shoemakers in the Brazilian jungle
In the Jungle With Baťa is a novel about the life in exile of the entrepreneur Jan Antonín Baťa, who not only founded the Czech shoe manufacturer Baťa, but also played a major role in turning the company into a global business phenomenon. Baťa built a modern factory in Zlín and had become a success, but was then forced to suspend production when the region was invaded by Nazi Germany. Forced into exile, he decided to go to Brazil. In the Jungle With Baťa portrays the life of a man who lived on two continents seen through the eyes of three generations: Baťa himself, his daughter, and his grandchild. In this session, the author and translator discuss not only the book itself, but the literary achievements and the charm of people living in diverse cultural environments, across continents.
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Markéta Pilátová (1973), a writer, translator and journalist studied Roman studies and history at the Faculty of Arts, Palackého university in Olomouc, where she also worked as a specialized assistant for 6 years. Afterwards, she worked as a Czech language lecturer at the Department of Slavic Studies in Granada, Spain for two years. Later on she went to Argetina and Brazil to teach the descendants of Czech expatriates for a long time. Now, as a journalist she mainly writes for the weekly magazine Respekt, in which she also used to work for a while.
Nowadays, she lives permanently in the Czech Republic. Markéta Pilátová is an author of various novels, poems, short stories and books for children. Among the most known we can mention Žluté oči vedou domů (2007), Tsunami blues (2014) or S Baťou v džungli (2017). Her latest work is the novel Senzibil, published in 2020 by the Torst publishing house. She counts as one of the most translated contemporary Czech writers.
Associate professor at the University of Tokyo, specialising in Central European and comparative literature. As a translator, he has translated dozens of Czech books into Japanese, including the works of Bohumil Hrabal, Václav Havel, and Bianca Bellová among others. In 2015, he was awarded the Best Translation Award in Japan for his translation of Europeana: A brief history of Twentieth Century by Patrik Ouředník.