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Author Steiner, Peter

Title The deserts of Bohemia : Czech fiction and its social context / Peter Steiner
Published Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, ©2000


Description 1 online resource (ix, 244 pages)
Contents Acknowledgments -- Politics or Poetics -- 1 Tropos Kynikos -- 2 Radical Liberalism -- 3 The Past Perfect Hero -- 4 The Poetics of a Political Trial -- 5 Ironies of History -- 6 Cops or Robbers -- Index
Summary Czech fiction in the twentieth century has been deeply enmeshed in the nation's political life and often serves as a conduit for its authors' social ideas. Through a series of brilliant and powerful readings of major Czech texts in both literature and history, Peter Steiner challenges the view that literary works can be treated as aesthetically distinct from historical events. Instead, he gives evidence again and again of the inevitable connection between literature and politics.Steiner engages six central works ranging from novels to government documents; all, in his view, purvey ideological fictions that have exerted significant social influence. He begins with Jaroslav Hasek's 1920s novel The Good Soldier Svejk, whose anti-authoritarian protagonist was widely emulated during the Nazi and Communist regimes, and ends with Václav Havel's play The Beggar's Opera, through which Steiner explores the social role of Czech writing in the 1970s. He also considers Reportage, by Julius Fucík, which announces itself as a documentary of the Communist Party's heroic struggle against the Germans, but is, for Steiner, a fiction arising out of Marxist-Leninist ideology; Karel Capek's Apocryphal Stories; Milan Kundera's novel The Joke; and the 1952 show trial of Rudolf Slánský, the general secretary of the Communist Party
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
Print version record
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Subject Czech fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / Eastern
Czech fiction
Sociale ideeën.
Littérature tchèque -- 20e siècle -- Histoire et critique.
Politique et littérature -- Tchécoslovaquie.
Czech Republic -- Civilization.
Czech Republic
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 99055905
ISBN 0801437172