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The Czech Avant-Garde Literary Movement Between the World Wars

edited by Ondrej Sládek and Michael Heim

Thomas G. Winner

Edited By Ondrej Sládek and Michael Heim

The Czech Avant-Garde Literary Movement Between the Two World Wars tells the little-known story of the renaissance of Czech literary arts in the period between the two world wars. The avant-garde writers during this period broke down the barrier between the elite literary language and the vernacular and turned to spoken language, substandard forms, everyday sources such as newspapers and detective stories, and forms of popular entertainment such as the circus and the cabaret. In his analyses of the writings of this period, Thomas G. Winner illuminates the aesthetic and linguistic characteristics of these works and shows how poetry and linguistics can be combined. The Czech Avant-Garde Literary Movement Between the Two World Wars is essential reading for courses on modern Czech literature, comparative literature, and Slavic literature.
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Chapter Six. The Relation of the Prague Linguistic Circle to Poetism

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·CHAPTER SIX·



The Relation of the Prague Linguistic Circle to Poetism

The science of linguistics played an important role in shaping the poetist movement. The problem of the relation of science and its methods—with its obligation to search for objective truth—to art—with its degree of freedom from any constraints of the scientific world—harks back to Plato. The Czech avant-garde in the interwar years took a revolutionary position. It considered science, in the form of linguistics and semiotics, and art to be handmaidens and thus aroused the ire of both language purists and communist supporters of Socialist Realism.

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