Dr Václav J. K. Pinkava, alias Jan Křesadlo, was born on December 9, 1926 in Prague, and passed away on August 13, 1995 in Colchester, UK. He was a recognized novelist and poet, a psychologist and polymath. The SVU was fortunate having him as the president of its British Chapter.
An anti-communist, Pinkava emigrated to Britain with his wife and four children following the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He worked as a clinical psychologist until his early retirement in 1982, when he turned to full-time writing.
Pinkava was also active in choral music, composing (among others) a Glagolitic Mass. As well, he worked in mathematical logic, discovering the many-valued logic algebra which bears his name.
As a polyglot, Pinkava was fond of setting intense goals for himself, such as translating Jaroslav Seifert’s interwoven sonnet cycle about Prague, A Wreath of Sonnets. He published a collection of his own poems in seven languages. Perhaps his most staggering achievement is ἈΣΤΡΟΝΑΥΤΙΛΊΑ (Astronautilia) Hvězdoplavba, a 6575-line science fiction epic poem, an odyssey in classical Homeric Greek, with its parallel hexameter translation into Czech.
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