Jaromír Kincl

* 1930  †︎ 2019

  • "It was so long ago that I might be fantasizing a little bit. There's some truth to it, though. We were like always searching for a theme. And as always we were searching for a theme over a bottle of good wine, not that we were alcoholics. At the time, we didn't want to do it at home, so we went to a wine bar. I think it was somewhere in the Old Town, and I remember that there were stairs going down to the bar. It was before the noon. We sat there alone and shared a bottle of wine. When we didn't know which way to go, we would set a defined sequence of thinking and we thought and talked about our ideas. We just shared all of our ideas, no matter if they were stupid or not. Then we decided if any of them were good. We were talking like this over the bottle of wine. I remember someone saying, 'Are we going to be here like this till the end of the night?' Suddenly we started improvising on the theme of stars. We started thinking, why couldn't we write about the stars, but what about the stars? Then someone pointed out that stars created constellations and constellations were beautifully named, like Libra, Little Dipper, or Sagittarius. And that the name could be the basis for the story of the bedtime story. It would begin with the stars, then continue to the Sagittarius, and then the Sagittarius itself would live a story with stars. We thought it would be nice, but we didn't know how to get the story to the sky. Someone said, 'Why go to the sky? The stars are reflected in the river and the water and the pond.' We agreed it had to be a pond, an ordinary pond. 'What shall we call the pond?' And someone said it could be called Reed Pond (Rákosník). And then we thought, 'If there's a reed there's probably a gnome, and if it lives in the reeds, it could be called the Reed Gnome (Rákosníček)."

  • "There is this story about pseudonym Karel Vlček. Of course, we couldn't write using our real names - Vladimír Branislav or Jaromír Kincl. We made up this Karel Vlček, because the editor of The Curious Camera was called Mrs Vlčková. So we used her surname and we chose 'Karel' becauce of our colleague Karel Kyncl. And that's how the fictional Karel Vlček came into existence. But we needed to connect the fictional person to an existing person, and that was me. I had to ask the Theatrical Artists' Union for approval. I got written permission from the head of the theatre, Jiřina Švorcová, that I could use the pseudonym Karel Vlček. The contracts were signed by Karel Vlček, and we shared the earned money equally with Vladimír."

  • "It was a clash with reality. We carefully arranged and created an environment for herd-like people. We created a non-existent company called Pymony and Company, and a non-existent commodity - pymons, which was supposed to be a fruit, something between an apple and an orange. We opened a pymon sale in a street stall, with our editor friend playing the shop assistant. We put up signs advertising 'Italian pymons on sale again' and people stopped and looked. They obviously wondered what it was. They lined up and you know that herd behaviour: one stops, another walks by and comes back to see what it is about. He stops too and there's a queue already forming. As soon as this phenomenon occurred, Bráňa [Vladimír Branislav] came out and started to question the people about what they were standing there for and why. When it turned out that it was a hidden camera, he was scolded by an old lady who told him very aptly: 'Very funny, very funny, boys! You know nothing! I, on the other hand, know that if there's something somewhere, I have to queue up for it, that's why I'm standing here. So don't make fun of it.' And we understood that some things shouldn't be made fun of."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 06.12.2017

    duration: 01:48:34
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 13.12.2017

    duration: 01:04:13
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I have been fortunate to have met a number of people of great professional and civic repute

Jaromír Kincl on the photo from 1960s
Jaromír Kincl on the photo from 1960s
photo: archiv Jaromíra Kincla

Jaromír Kincl was born on 19 October 1930 in Prague. In 1949 he finished the Business Academy in Prague. After completing his basic military service, he took a job at the publishing house Naše vojsko (Our Army), where he worked as a planner and publicity officer. He soon became a correspondent for Obrana lidu (Defence of the People Journal). In his journalistic activities he was mainly concerned with cultural events. In the 1960s he worked with the Paravan theatre and occasionally wrote song lyrics (especially for Ljuba Hermanová). At the same time, he met the television editor and screenwriter Vladimír Branislav. The meeting led to a friendship and a long-term cooperation, especially on the series called Zvědavá kamera (The Curious Camera) and other television programmes and documentaries. He also worked as editor of the magazine Zápisník (Diary). Due to his co-authorship of several television documentaries that became ‘undesirable’ after 1968, his cooperation with Czechoslovak Television ended during the normalisation period. Subsequently, he voluntarily left the editorial staff of the magazine Zápisník. For many years he wrote freelance in tandem with Vladimír Branislav under the pseudonym Karel Vlček. This cooperation gave rise to, for example, the evening cartoon character Rákosníček. Then he worked as an accountant at the n. p. Kniha. After 1989, he briefly returned to Czechoslovak (later Czech) Television. In 1994 he retired and devoted himself to literary activities. He died on 26 April 2019 in Prague.