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Portrait Gallery

Pictures of Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic in Dedications in His Books and in Works of Art in the Karásek Collection

Author(s): Karel Kolařík
Subject(s): Czech Literature
Published by: Památník národního písemnictví
Keywords: Czech literature; Decadence; Symbolism; Aestheticism; personal libraries; collecting; performativity; lifestyle; book dedications; portraits; Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic; Wlastimil Hofman

Summary/Abstract: This article first introduces the reader to the topic of the aestheticism of Decadent Symbolism by outlining the theatricality of the nineteenth century. It describes Aestheticism as a path to a new authenticity and therefore also to ethics, with the aim of transforming life into a work of art, subordinated to the ideal of beauty. It then discusses Jiří Karásek ze Lvovic’s (1871–1951) strategies of auto-stylization, particularly his desire to live ambivalently, and thus multiply and vary his appearance. At the same time, the article supports this endeavour with analyses of Karásek’s use of intertextuality and a carefully planned strategy of communication in his literature. It interprets Karásek’s gallery as a monument to its founder, providing information (as do his works of literature and other activity) about his personality, and it analyses two levels of the collection in detail, providing a picture of him and his impenetrable multiplicity of faces – namely, a set of books containing dedications to Karásek and a collection of his portraits by various painters.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 46
  • Page Range: 323-360
  • Page Count: 38
  • Language: Czech