Listen to the Story of Arion in the Form of Drama, Documentary and News Report

8. March 2018
Arionova kašna v Olomouci

The water element rules this year´s international radio festival. Czech Radio and water are connected by waves, dynamism, and a shared address. On the upper square of the city of Olomouc, you´ll find the headquarters of the Olomouc branch of Czech Radio as well as Arion´s Fountain.

It was the story of Arion, a Greek poet and cithara player, who inspired Petr Stančík, an acclaimed Czech author who holds the Magnesia Litera award. For the 34th instalment of the international radio festival, he prepared three renditions of Arion´s story. And he did so (how else?) in the form of a drama, a documentary, and a news report.

What does water mean to you? Are you yourself a creature of water - lover of water sports and diving - or are you intimidated by it?

Yes, I love water. I´m certainly no athlete, but I´ve liked wading, splashing, and rolling in water since childhood. I also enjoy being massaged by the currents under weirs or submerging myself in hot mineral baths. And most of my favourite drinks also contain water in various measures.

Which version of Arion´s story was the easiest to write and why?

The Greek drama, certainly. Hexameters fell from me like deceitful Greeks from the guts of the wooden horse. Maybe it´s because I like Greek drama. I like Aeschylus, who introduced a second actor into the play, and Sophocles, who introduced a third and a fourth. I wanted to introduce a fifth actor, but they told me it´s too late.

The Arion Fountain was built in a single year and expanded the series of Baroque fountains inspired by Greek myth. Is there a particular historical era close to your heart, be it for artistic or personal reasons?

My principle era is late Gothic, but Ancient Greece was also very nice. The three wise men, Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato, came up with everything of importance in the world. All the philosophers who came after them are mere epigones, commentators, or fools. On the other hand, the Czech Baroque is close to my heart in the form of women.

What are you currently working on?

I´m just finishing my novel Zerocorn (Nulorožec). And for Friday, April 13th, I´m preparing a renewal of the medieval holiday of Spears and Nails at Charles´ Square in Prague. Come have a look.