"Don´t Put a Full Stop at the End of My Manuscript..." Cover Image

"Nedělej tečku za mým rukopisem..."
"Don´t Put a Full Stop at the End of My Manuscript..."

More on the Case of Konstantin Biebl´s Suicide

Author(s): Jana Tůma Königsmarková
Subject(s): History, Language and Literature Studies, Cultural history, Political history, Czech Literature, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro soudobé dějiny
Keywords: Konstantin Biebl;Czechoslovakia;Czech literature;Czech poetry;culture politics;literary criticism;communism;socialistic realism;Jiří Taufer;František Nečásek

Summary/Abstract: This article addresses the last creative period of the poet Konstantin Biebl (1898–1951) in the late 1940s and early 1950s and explores it in a broader cultural and political context, taking into consideration the poet’s character, the genesis of his last collection of poems entitled "Bez obav" [Unafraid] (1951), as well as the unexplained circumstances of his tragic death. Biebl was one of the leading representatives of leftist avant-garde art in interwar Czechoslovakia. In the early 1940s he stopped publishing. After the Communist coup in 1948 he tried to adjust to the period’s ideological and aesthetic norms as applied to the new literature in the spirit of socialist realism, which is reflected in "Bez obav". The article focuses on the events taking place after its publication, which culminated with the poet’s suicide in November 1951. The author presents these events and the relationships between the actors in the light of previously unpublished documents from the archival collection of the poet, translator and cultural official, Jiří Taufer (1911–1986), who was one of the key figures in the cultural policy of the period and the conflicts surrounding it. The author sees the main value of these documents in their focus on František Nečásek (1913–1968), the head of the culture and press department of the Office of the President of the Republic and the holder of several other posts, whose role in these events – possibly a very important one – has so far been somewhat overlooked. The article includes an annotated edition of contemporary and later texts, mostly of a personal character and unpublished, which illustrate the context of the described events. The article concludes with a summary interpretation of these documents.

  • Issue Year: XXIX/2022
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 147-188
  • Page Count: 42
  • Language: Czech