AUDIO: Benjamin Paloff Discussing The Game for Real with Alex Zucker at Community Bookstore


We were very honored to be able to present translator extraordinaire Benjamin Paloff with Czech master-translator Alex Zucker at Brooklyn’s own Community Bookstore. The book they came to talk about was Two Lines Press’s The Game for Real, by Czech modernist Richard Weiner, the first time this essential author has ever appeared in English, thanks to Ben.

Below you’ll find a table of contents and full audio for the entire event. Many, many, many thanks to Hal Hlavinka of Community Bookstore for facilitating this event, recording it, and publicizing it, and thanks as well to Alex Zucker for acting as an expert in all things Czech.


1:35 Description of The Game for Real and Richard Weiner

7:00 reading from The Game for Real

16:10 where Weiner fits into the “fantastic four” of Czech lit

19:10 Where Weiner fit into Czech literature at the time of his writing

27:00 Weiner and Proust

28:25 The writing of Weiner’s the came out of his association with the Surrealists

31:30 The emotion of shame as it relates to The Game for Real

35:00 Czech as a young language and the impact of that on Weiner’s writing and Czech literature in general

40:10 Weiner’s relationship to Kafka, particularly The Metamorphosis

42:00 Q & A

42:30 How engaged was Weiner with sexological thought, and Weiner’s feelings about his sexuality?

45:00 Weiner’s death

46:30 Weiner’s influence in Czech literature

54:20 How will Ben research Weiner’s biography in Prague

55:40 Ben’s translations from languages other than Czech, and Ben’s beliefs about translation

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