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100 Years Of Bohumil Hrabal

Born 100 years ago in Brno on March 28, Bohumil Hrabal was one of the most important Czech writers of the 20th century. Hrabal wrote in colloquial Czech and is famous for his acute observations and charismatic antiheros. His best-known works were "I Served the King of England" and " Closely Observed Trains," a film of which won an Oscar in 1968.

Known as a great raconteur, Bohumil Hrabal talks to friends at his favorite Prague pub, U Zlateho Tygra (At the Golden Tiger), where he was a regular fixture.
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Known as a great raconteur, Bohumil Hrabal talks to friends at his favorite Prague pub, U Zlateho Tygra (At the Golden Tiger), where he was a regular fixture.

Filming of the Oscar winning movie Ostre sledovane vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) based on Hrabal´s novel in 1966. Film director Jiri Menzel, right, pop singer Vaclav Neckar playing Milos Hrma, center, and director of photography Jaromir Sofr, left.
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Filming of the Oscar winning movie Ostre sledovane vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) based on Hrabal´s novel in 1966. Film director Jiri Menzel, right, pop singer Vaclav Neckar playing Milos Hrma, center, and director of photography Jaromir Sofr, left.

Kersko, Czechoslovakia, 1984.
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Kersko, Czechoslovakia, 1984.

U Zlateho Tygra, Prague, 1990
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U Zlateho Tygra, Prague, 1990

Czech President Vaclav Havel (left) with Hrabal after he received the Jaroslav Seifert Prize in Prague on October 25, 1993. 
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Czech President Vaclav Havel (left) with Hrabal after he received the Jaroslav Seifert Prize in Prague on October 25, 1993. 

Hrabal at his summer house in the Kersko region in 1994.
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Hrabal at his summer house in the Kersko region in 1994.

Hrabal (center) met U.S. President Bill Clinton and the U.S. ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright at U Zlateho Tygra in 1994.
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Hrabal (center) met U.S. President Bill Clinton and the U.S. ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright at U Zlateho Tygra in 1994.

Hrabal at his 80th birthday celebration.
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Hrabal at his 80th birthday celebration.

A Romany band plays at Hrabal's funeral in a Prague crematorium 1997. Hrabal died on February 2, 1997 after falling from a Prague hospital window. He was apparently trying to feed some pigeons.
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A Romany band plays at Hrabal's funeral in a Prague crematorium 1997. Hrabal died on February 2, 1997 after falling from a Prague hospital window. He was apparently trying to feed some pigeons.

Hrabal was buried in his family's crypt in a cemetery in Hradistko, just outside Prague. According to his wishes, he was buried in an oak coffin with the inscription "Pivovar Polna" ("Polna Brewery"), the place where his mother and stepfather met.  
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Hrabal was buried in his family's crypt in a cemetery in Hradistko, just outside Prague. According to his wishes, he was buried in an oak coffin with the inscription "Pivovar Polna" ("Polna Brewery"), the place where his mother and stepfather met.
 

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