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Svatopluk Čech

photo:  (wikimedia.org)


An acknowledged Czech poet, prose writer, newspaper reporter and traveller, who is also called the last poet of the so-called revivalist period.

He came from the family of a nobleman’s steward and enthusiastic Czech nationalist. Young Svatopluk found works by Czech, Slavic and West European Romantic poets, which formed his future literary orientation, in his father’s library.

Svatopluk Čech studied law, but he also published his first poems as a student. After he completed his studies he practised law, but in 1879 he left this field and devoted himself exclusively to literature. He contributed to the Ruch Almanac and he was active as an editor in magazines titled Květy (which he co-founded and then managed), Světozor, Lumír, Národní listy.

He wrote poetry and prose. He was chiefly famed for his satirical prose about the townsman Matěj Brouček (The True Excursions of Mr Brouček to the Moon and the Epoch-making Excursion of Mr Brouček, this time to the 15th Century, and Matěj Brouček At the Exhibition). His works of prose chiefly include humorous and arabesque tales (Tales, arabesques and humoresques, Various Humorous and Serious Sketches, Several Tales and Various Sketches) and only a few works of fiction (for instance the autobiographical Second Flower, Icarus, Candidate of Immortality). He is the author of epic poems with historic themes (the epics Hussite in the Baltic, Adamites, Žižka, Dagmar, Slávie...) including those with contemporary political and social themes (The Lešetín Smith – filmed) and of collections of political and social lyrical verses (Early Morning Songs, New Songs, Songs of a Slave).

Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Source: Encyklopedie ceské literatury
Added: 19.08.2010

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