Čekání na Godota [Waiting for Godot]. Translated from the original French by Jiří Kolář.

Prague: DILIA, 1964. Octavo (19.6 × 14 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 223, [1] pp. A very good copy. Item #4727

The first appearance of any work by Samuel Beckett in Czech was this translation of the absurdist and existentialist play, distributed for private use by literary and theatre professionals by DILIA, the Czechoslovak literary and theatre agency. Expressly marked “not for sale” (“Neprodejný text”). This is the first printing (second and third runs, with variant colored wrappers, were published due to large demand, but in relatively low numbers, given the caveat of the book being a purely internal, non-commercial publication). The first regularly distributed edition of Beckett’s work had to await the end of the “Normalization” period, a period of strict political control which followed the short intermezzo of the liberal Prague Spring of the 1960s, and could only be published in 1986. Nevertheless Beckett was quite influential in Communist Czechoslovakia, impacting playwrights such as Vaclav Havel. The translator, Jiří Kolář, was one of the most important post-war artists, a pioneer of the collage medium, and a key advocate of concrete poetry.

KVK and OCLC only show the copy at the Czech National Library.

Price: €800.00