Journalist and translator Agneša Kalinová dies

SLOVAK translator, journalist, writer, film theoretician and dissident Agneša Kalinová died on the morning of September 18, aged 90.

SLOVAK translator, journalist, writer, film theoretician and dissident Agneša Kalinová died on the morning of September 18, aged 90.

Kalinová was relocated to Germany during the toughest communist repression and later worked for the Czechoslovak Service of Radio Free Europe until 1995. With her specific gravelly voice she regularly commented situation in Czechoslovakia and its totalitarian regime, according to the Sme daily.

“In those times Agneša Kalinová was absolute legend for me,” said Daniel Bútora, one of the student leaders of velvet revolution in 1989 and manager of the C. S. Lewis School Association, as quoted by Sme. “I don’t want to sound cliché but it was charming captivating voice by which she was speaking incredible things really loudly and directly.”

Agneša Kalinová was born on July 15, 1924 in Košice. As a person of Jewish descent she could not study and later had to hide in monastery in Budapest, Hungary. After World War II she came back to Slovakia and married Ján Ladislav Kalina, a writer, translator, screen writer and humorist. Since 1952 she worked at Kultúrny život weekly which promoted liberal trends in literature and art in 1960s and was later banned. Then she worked as reporter in Prague-based bi-weekly Filmové a televizní noviny (Film and television newspapers) which was banned in 1970, according to the TASR newswire.

She was forbidden to publish stories, translations or to be employed in any sector related to culture. She was working as translator of computer manuals from English to German and spent three months remanded in custody being suspected of subversion in 1972. In autumn 1978 she and her family were allowed to move to Munich, Germany, Sme reported.

Despite all difficulties she experienced she is remembered as an active, joyful person full of positive energy.

“I was taught that people should not cry in public; my father and my tutor Adriena tutored me that. It was the sign of self-control,” Kalinová said in book Mojich 7 životov (My seven lives), as quoted by TASR. “But no one ordered me to swallow even laugh.”

(Source: TASR, Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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