Prepared by: Alena Blažejovská
Directed by: Radim Nejlý
They act: Viktor Kuzník, Eva Novotná, Michal Bumbálek and Vladimír Hauser
Filmed: in the Brno studio of Czech Radio in 2022
The bicentenary of the birth of the father of genetics, Johann Gregor Mendel (1822–1884), received the patronage of UNESCO this year. Not only the Czech Republic, but the whole world remembers a genius personality whose importance was surpassed by the merits and fame of Charles Darwin. Mendel’s legacy also became one of the topics of the Czech presidency in the Council of the European Union. Already in the summer, the Jean Rey Place in Brussels hosted an exhibition commemorating Johann Gregor Mendel and Brno as the cradle of genetics and a university city with a creative approach to scientific topics.
In October, the original of Mendel’s famous manuscript Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden (Experiments with Plant Hybrids), in which Mendel described his experiments with pea crosses and laid down the laws of inheritance, was displayed under strict security at the headquarters of the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The original manuscript is normally kept in the Augustinian Abbey in Staré Brno, where Mendel lived and worked.
However, Johann Gregor Mendel was not only involved in breeding and experiments, in which he also made inventive use of statistics. She also devoted herself to meteorology, beekeeping, teaching and banking. In the years 1868–1884, this native of Hynčice in Silesia was the abbot of the Augustinian monastery in Old Brno. He is buried at the Brno Central Cemetery. The requiem in the church was conducted by Leoš Janáček.
Mendel as a poet and poets about Mendel
However, the show from the cycle Souzvk also shows Mendel as a poet. In the 1960s, the original manuscript of two of his poems was discovered in the Moravian Museum in Brno, which had been considered lost since the end of World War II.
The second part of the band will feature verses by contemporary poets who have been dealing with Mendel’s legacy for decades. Among them are natives of Silesia, Vít Slíva and Jindřich Zogata, who, like Mendel, came from the north to the South Moravian metropolis of Brno, where they settled. The work of the deceased authors Ivan Blatné and Zdeňko Rotrekl, as well as Miroslav Holman, who is still living here, is connected with the area of old Brno.
Pharmacist Jiří Staněk, a native of Brno, writes about Mendel, as do doctors Vladimír Šrámek, Robert Fajkus and Marek Fencl. The latter is connected with Mendel not only by his work at the U svaté Anna Hospital in Staro Brno, but also by his relationship with beekeeping. Poet Petr Čermáček teaches at the Mendel University in Brno.
Brno poet Zdenek Volf is connected to Mendel by his lifelong professional experience – he worked as an inseminator of cows, which became a significant source of his inspiration. And in the drawer of the poet Ivan Petlan, the author of the program discovered an entire manuscript collection called DNA.
The poet and microbiologist Martin Černer contributed to the band with a dialogic poem and Petr Hruška with two glosses. In the first of them, he characterizes three pillars (three “legs”) of the mental life of society, which, according to him, are schools, churches and pubs. In the second, he sheds light on the links between science, faith and hope.