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Medieval Bohemia, the petty nobility nothing more than highwaymen, literally robber barons, and the king has to dispatch troops to restore order. Marketa Lazarová was promised to God at birth, destined to live her life in a convent, but she is abducted by one of the neighboring Kozlík clan and discovers her sensual self. Told in shifting perspectives, mixing the archaic with the modern, the elevated with the vulgar, Vančura’s tale is a compressed epic, less historical novel (the history of his ancestors) than paean to honor, courage, life, carnality, and above all a love that undermines conventional notions of the profane as it shifts to a sacred outside the sanctions of religious dogma. In so doing, he shows the nexus between Crown and Church to subjugate those who prefer to follow their own natures over following imposed laws and precepts. Cinematic in approach to draw the reader into the action, as if it were happening right before one’s eyes, Marketa Lazarová deserves its place among the classics of interwar modernism, and it was awarded Czechoslovakia’s State Prize for Literature upon its publication in 1931. Yet the novel has been largely known by František Vláčil’s 1967 film adaptation, generally considered one of the greatest achievements of Czech cinema, and unavailable in English until now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788086264431
Publisher: Twisted Spoon Press
Publication date: 07/06/2016
Pages: 183
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Novelist, playwright, film director, screenwriter, Vladislav Vancura was born in 1891 in Háj (Silesia) into a family with ancestral roots in the nobility. A founding member of the Czech avant-garde artists group Devětsil in 1920, he served as its first chairman and was instrumental in formulating its Poetist program for literature. Vancura's most acclaimed work, Marketa Lazarova, brought him renown as an innovator of the first order and Czechoslovakia’s State Prize for Literature in 1931. He was arrested on May 12, 1942, by the Gestapo, tortured, and executed on June 1, 1942.

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