„Everything here is at prayer…“ Cover Image

„Vše se modlí u mne…“
„Everything here is at prayer…“

Litanical forms in the work of Bohuslav Reynek

Author(s): Małgorzata Gorczyńska
Subject(s): Czech Literature
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro českou literaturu
Keywords: Reynek Bohuslav; litany; stylization; modern poetry

Summary/Abstract: This text presents the development of litanical stylizations in the work of BohuslavReynek (1892–1971), from his Žízně (Thirsts, 1921) collection to his posthumouslypublished Odlet vlaštovek (Departure of the Swallows, 1980) collection. The authorfollows the process involved in the interiorization of litany, which is manifested inongoing abandonment of the external signs of litanical form (or its conventionalizedliterary attributes), while the connection with the ideational basis of the genre remainspreserved. Despite his initial dependence on French models (e.g. Paul Claudel andCharles Péguy — and a significant role was also played here by Reynek’s translationexperience) and particular sources of inspiration at home (Jakub Deml), the poet quitequickly found his independence (evidence of which includes Reynek’s “unlitanic”translations of Georg Trakl). With his stylizations, Reynek continually experimented,adding various forms to his litanies in verse, verset or prose, while an important rolewas also played by his technique of apposition, which he elaborated when he waswriting his collection Smutek Země (Earth’s Grief, 1924). These changes also affectedthe emotional tone of individual texts (e.g. one prominent trend was his shift from‘bright’ moods to ‘dark’ ones) or the construction of an object-addressee litany (onlythe first works of this kind have a strictly prayer-like character). A detailed analysis ofthese changes enables us to focus on the continuity of the entire process and thusto find a certain ongoing originality in the variety of litanic forms in Reynek’s work.

  • Issue Year: 67/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 3-31
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: Czech