Monday, 15 August 2011
Since 1966, when his papers were re-discovered, Cimrman has been the subject of multiple books, films and radio programmes; and a long-running series of biographical plays are continuously enacted at a playhouse uniquely dedicated to his exploits, in the neighbouring suburb of Žižkov (Prague 3). But today's photo comes from the south of Prague, from Michle (Prague 4), and shows a sign affixed to a hotel where the famous man once breakfasted.
Needless to add, Cimrman is a fiction, the brilliant invention of the equally polymathic, but real, Zdeněk Svěrák. But the enduring popularity of this Quixotic figure has made him one of the most popular figures in Czech history, as proved by the fact that he was voted the Greatest Czech in a TV poll in 2005. When Czech TV disqualified him on the grounds that he was not an actual person, there was a massive public outcry, which saw Cimrman rightly restored to first place, albeit in a special category all his own. He would have been delighted.