Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Waiting at Vrsovice Railway Station

Vršovice Daily Photo is part of the City Daily Photo network, which runs a 'theme day' on the first of each month. The topic for this December is 'Waiting', and when a few days ago I visited the small railway station here in Vršovice, this gentleman struck me as being the ideal candidate.

There are more miles of railway track in the Czech Republic than almost anywhere I can think of; and those who wait for that particular arrival or departure, in attitudes of anticipation or frustration or hope or despair, people the country's platforms as well as its literature.

It's no accident that one of the greatest Czech novels, penned by the legendary Bohumil Hrabal, is called 'Closely Observed Trains'. Written in what one might call the 'magic realist' style, the book chronicles the experiences of a naive young railway porter. His small life passes by with an unerring mundanity alleviated only by unfulfillable fantasies -  until one day the news comes that a trainload of Nazi soldiers will be passing through his little branch station.

In 1966, the book was turned into an Oscar-winning film of the same name directed by Jiří Menzel. If you've never seen it, try to get hold of a DVD, and do drop me a note to let me know what you think. No hurry - I'll be waiting...

City Daily Photo: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

14 comments:

J Bar said...

Brilliant theme day post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Bergson said...

a good idea for this day theme

Leif Hagen said...

A very reflective, artistic WAITING theme day photo!

Julie said...

So much to like in this, Alex. The body language for starters, both the leg pose and the whistle. Then there is the DoF of the rail yard behind, the light falling from behind the carriage and the warmth of the carriage itself. A lovely composition that so well explores the Theme Day.

Jilly said...

I like this shot very much. The detail of the man and train and that it shows us more of your city. I loved the beautiful cobbled street you showed us yesterday too.

Chuck Pefley said...

Your commentary describing the miles and hours of train travel is perfect for this month's theme day.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very profound post for theme day. excellent composition and great narrative. i will have to see if I can find the DVD. excellent theme day choice.

Ineke said...

i wonder if he is waiting for someone to arrive or for his train to take him somewhere

Antjas said...

It appears as though he is whistling a tune, perhaps having fantasies of his own. Lovely capture.

Tanya said...

beautiful....

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Perfect illustration of the theme - the man could be an illustration from a novel, or the inspiration for a story.
Three Rivers Daily Photo

cieldequimper said...

Fantastic shot, typical attitude so well caught.

Mo said...

I love this image. It could be in a number of cities and could be in different times. It is something that most people could interpret in some way.

Alex said...

Thanks, all, for your generous comments. Do please keep coming back - and become a follower!

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