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Italian author Magris receives Franz Kafka Prize in Prague

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Prague, Oct 27 (CTK) – Italian author and translator Claudio Magris, who is part of the postmodern literary stream with focus on Central and Eastern Europe and the German phenomenon, received the Franz Kafka Prize, the only international literary prize awarded in the Czech Republic, in Prague on Thursday.

Named after the famous native from Prague, the prize has been awarded by the Franz Kafka Society since 2001 in appreciation of the life work of the laureates, whose at least two books have appeared in a Czech version.

The organisers chose Magris from among 11 candidates for the prize.

At the ceremony on Thrusday, he received a bronze Franz Kafka statuette from Vladimir Zelezny, head of the Franz Kafka Society committee, and a financial reward of 10,000 dollars from Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova.

The Franz Kafka Prize goes to contemporary authors for their exceptional literary work that addresses readers regardless of their origin, ethnicity and culture, as does Franz Kafka’s work.

Magris, the holder of many Italian and European awards, was born in Trieste, a former part of the otherwise central European Habsburg monarchy, in 1939.

In his best-known work, the Danube, he compared the Danube, a symbol of the hybrid and cosmopolitan central European culture, with the Rhine, the embodiment of the German idea of the “purity of origin.”

The book has been translated into Czech, as have been Magris’s other books, including his essays about cultural and literary history.

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