Contacts and Comparisons in History and Culture
Edited By Gerald Power and Ondrej Pilny
Bohuslav Mánek The Czech Reception of Irish Poetry and Prose, c. 1790-2013
Bohuslav Mánek The Czech Reception of Irish Poetry and Prose, c. 1790–2013 At the dawn of European history, both Ériu, Ireland, and Bohemia, the land of the Celtic Boii after whom the country was named, most likely belonged to a Celtic civilization extending from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Later, after the arrival of the Slavonic Czechs, though remote from one another, the cultures of both communities were occasionally in contact and historians can point at various notable parallels in the development of both nations. The present essay attempts to brief ly outline the reception of Anglo-Irish and Irish poetry and prose in the nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Several ongoing currents of interest in certain topics – mythology and legends, history, politics, daily life as ref lected in literature – may be discerned, running through five periods of reception: the Czech national revival, the growth of Czech culture from the 1860s to 1918, the interwar period, the post-war period up to 1989 and contem- porary times.1 The first period in which Irish writing was introduced into Czech literature is the Czech national revival dating from the late 1780s to the 1850s. The interest of Czech revivalists in Anglo-Irish and Irish literature and in Irish history and contemporary politics was a relatively small but important component in their reception of foreign cultures. Because of the disruptions to the development of Czech society and literature for nearly two centuries after the Thirty Years War, the revivalists strove to...
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