Antonín Jaroslav Liehm (1924-2020) USA / Czech Republic
Contribution to the dialogue of national culture
Antonín Jaroslav Liehm was born in 1924 at Žižkov in Prague. After meeting Emil František Burian, his professional career shifted to journalism. Together they established a magazine Kulturní politika in 1946. After 1949, the newspaper was banned and wasn’t allowed to publish under his name. He was rehabilitated in 1956 and became an editor for the Literary News magazine, where he significantly contributed to its transformation to the symbol of the liberalization atmosphere of the Prague Spring. At the same time, he worked as a literary adviser at Barrandov, which allowed him to participate in the production of several films. He also wrote, among his works are books Dialogue (1966), Generation (1969/1988) or Closely Watched Movies (1974). In 1968 he emigrated to Paris and two years later moved to the USA after he was invited to lecture at The City University of New York. During his time abroad very intensively collaborated with the Czech magazine Letters. In 1982 he returned to France, where he established cultural and political magazine Lettre Internationale. The magazine was continually published in nine language mutations. During the communist dictatorship, he had been a cultural and political link between Czechoslovakia and the western world for over 30 years. His memory book, The Past in the Present, was published in 2002.