Ideological Literature in a Non-ideological Version: Twenty Years After, the First Modern History of Czech Literature of the Socialist Period  Cover Image

Ideologicka literatura v neideologickem provedeni Dvacet let po roce 1989 vyšly prvni moderni dějiny česke literatury nesocialisticke doby
Ideological Literature in a Non-ideological Version: Twenty Years After, the First Modern History of Czech Literature of the Socialist Period

Author(s): Alessandro Catalano
Subject(s): History
Published by: Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR

Summary/Abstract: Janoušek, Pavel et al. Dějiny česke literatury 1945–1989. Vol. 1, 1945–1948; Vol. 2: 1948–1958. Prague: Academia, 2007. This thorough review is mostly concerned with the fi rst two volumes of the four-volume Dějiny česke literatury 1945–1985 (History of Czech Literature, 1945–85), which was published in 2007 and 2008. The history is the culmination of a ten-year project at the Institute of Czech Literature, Prague, in which more than fifty authors took part, led by the director of the Institute, Pavel Janoušek. As the reviewer notes, in this collective work of 2,500 pages the ups and downs of Czech literature from the end of the Second World War to the collapse of Communism are systematically, comprehensively, and non-ideologically dealt with for the first time. The result is a fundamental work on the topic, and is a convincing response to recent debates in Czech literary studies, in which the very possibility of writing a history of literature today has been problematized. It is also a challenge to those who would come up with alternative conceptions. The reviewer praises the great reliability of the facts presented in this work and also, despite certain pitfalls, their maximally neutral and dispassionate presentation. He also stresses the high quality and suitable length of the sections devoted to the broader social and cultural-political context of literature in the years of its mass idealogization. He points as well to the useful summary of genres on the boundary of literature included in this history, and argues that some of the published criticisms of this publication are unfair. Translated from Italian by: Alice Flemrová

  • Issue Year: XVI/2009
  • Issue No: 02-03
  • Page Range: 456-465
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Czech