The Czech Reader: History, Culture, Politics

The Czech Reader: History, Culture, Politics

by Jan Ba
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822347946

ISBN-13: 9780822347941

Pub. Date: 12/13/2010

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

The Czech Reader brings together more than 150 primary texts and illustrations to convey the dramatic history of the Czechs, from the emergence of the Czech state in the tenth century, through the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the Czech Republic in 1993, into the twenty-first century. The Slav-speaking Czechs have lived for more than a millennium

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Overview

The Czech Reader brings together more than 150 primary texts and illustrations to convey the dramatic history of the Czechs, from the emergence of the Czech state in the tenth century, through the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the Czech Republic in 1993, into the twenty-first century. The Slav-speaking Czechs have lived for more than a millennium surrounded on three sides by German-speaking people. The Czechs have preserved their language, traditions, and customs, despite their incorporation into the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Third Reich, and the Eastern Bloc. Organized chronologically, the selections in The Czech Reader include the letter to the Czech people written by the religious reformer and national hero Jan Hus in 1415, and Charter 77, the fundamental document of an influential anticommunist initiative launched in 1977 in reaction to the arrest of the Plastic People of the Universe, an underground rock band. There is a speech given in 1941 by Reinhard Heydrich, a senior Nazi official and Deputy Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as one written by Václav Havel in 1984 for an occasion abroad, but read by the Czech-born British dramatist Tom Stoppard, since Havel, the dissident playwright and future national leader, was not allowed to leave Czechoslovakia. Among the songs, poems, folklore, fiction, plays, paintings, and photographs of monuments and architectural landmarks are “Let Us Rejoice,” the most famous chorus from Bedřich Smetana’s comic opera The Bartered Bride; a letter the composer Antonín Dvořák sent from New York, where he directed the National Conservatory of Music in the 1890s; a story by Franz Kafka; and an excerpt from Milan Kundera’s The Joke. Intended for travelers, students, and scholars alike, The Czech Reader is a rich introduction to the turbulent history and resilient culture of the Czech people.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822347941
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
12/13/2010
Series:
The World Readers
Pages:
568
Sales rank:
673,947
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xv

Guide to Pronunciation xvii

Introduction 1

I Between Myth and History (The Premyslid Dynasty) 7

Report on a Journey to Prague in 965 Ibrahim ibn Yaqub at-Turtushi 13

Legend of Saints, Cyril, Methodius, Wenceslas, Ludmila, Kristián 17

Bohemian Chronicle, Cosmas of Prague 20

Letter to Agnes of Prague, Clare of Assisi 26

II Navel of the Earth (Charles IV-Václav TV) 31

Chronicle of the Prague Church, Beneš Krabice of Veitmile 35

The Ointment Seller, Anonymous 39

Tkadlecek, Anonymous 43

III Against Everyone (The Hussite Revolution) 47

Letter to the Czechs, Jan Hus 51

Who Are God's Warriors?, Anonymous 54

Letter to the Hussites, Joan of Arc 56

The Net of Faith, Petr Chelcický 58

IV Struggles for Court, City, Country (Vladislav II Jagiellon-Rudolph II) 67

The Dove and the Painted Tablet, Elizabeth Jane Weston 75

To the Memory of Tycho Brahe, Jan Campanus 76

Description of Prague during the Time of Rudolph II, Pierre Bergeron 77

Letter of Majesty, Rudolph II 80

V Defeated Protestants, Victorious Catholics (Ferdinand II-Charles VI) 83

Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, Jan Amos Komenský 90

Jan of Nepomuk, Bohuslav Balbín 96

The Rakovník Christmas Play, Anonymous 100

VI From the Enlightenment to Romantic Nationalism (Maria Theresa-Revolution of 1848) 111

On Slav Nations, Johann Gottfried Herder 123

Manuscript of Zelená Hora, Anonymous 126

Home Cookery, Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová 131

History of the Czech Nation in Bohemia and Moravia, Frantisek Palacký 133

May, Karel Hynek Mácha 137

Where Is My Home? Josef Kajetán Tyl 142

VII Defeated Politicians, Victorious Intellectuals (1848-1867) 145

Water Sprite, Karel Jaromír Erben 157

The Grandmother, Bozena Nemcová 165

Let Us Rejoice, libretto, Karel Sdbina; music, Bedrich Smetana 182

VIII From National Self Determination to Cosmopolitanism (1867-1918) 187

The Three Lilies Jan Neruda 207

The Ballad of Blaník Jaroslav Vrchlickýy 210

Late towards Morning Karel Hlavácek 214

Letter from the New World Antonín Dvorák 216

Golem Alois Jirásek 219

A Report to an Academy Franz Kafka 223

The Sole Work Otokar Brezina 231

Marycka Magdonova Petr Bezruc 235

IX The First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938) 239

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk Jaroslav Hasek 259

R.U.R. Karel Capek 268

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders Vitezslav Nezval 279

Summer of Caprice Vladislav Vancura 288

X Between Hitler and Stalin (1938-1948) 295

On the Munich Agreement British Parliamentary Debate 307

At the Tomb of the Czech Kings Jaroslav Seifert 310

Life with a Star Jirí Weil 312

On the Elimination of the Czech Nation Reinhard Heydrich 321

The Cowards Josef Skvorecký 327

They Cut Off the Little Boy's Hair Josef Kainar 333

XI ?Ideal? Socialism (1948-1968) 335

From the Last Letters Milada Horáková 349

Cigarette Ivan Blatný 351

Prometheus's Liver Jirí Kolár 353

A Night with Hamlet Vladimír Holan 355

The Garden Party Václav Havel 363

The Joke Milan Kundera 372

Two Thousand Words, May 27, 1968 Ludvík Vaculík 376

Close the Gate, Little Brother Karel Kryl 383

XII ?Real? Socialism (1968-1989) 385

Magic Prague Angelo Maria Ripellino 399

In-House Weddings Bohumil Hrabal 405

The Head of the Virgin Mary Jaroslav Seifert 416

What Are the Czechs? Jan Patocka 419

Charter 77, Charter 77 Initiative 429

Czech Dream Book Ludvík Vaculík 434

Politics and Conscience Václav Havel 440

Kultura/Culture Gene Deitch 457

Utz Bruce Chatwin 461

XIII The Decades after the Velvet Revolution (1989-2009) 463

City Sister Silver Jáchym Topol 473

Prague 1989: Theater of Revolution Michael Andrew Kukral 484

German-Czech Declaration Bilateral Agreement 489

After the Revolution Erazim Kohák 493

Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century Patrik Ouredmík 500

Epilogue 503

Suggestions for Further Reading 507

Acknowledgment of Copyright and Sources 521

Index 529

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