New PDF release: Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his

By Thomas Ort

ISBN-10: 1137188863

ISBN-13: 9781137188861

In so much histories of Europe sooner than the 1st global battle, sleek lifestyles in Habsburg Mitteleuropa takes on a decidedly gloomy forged. Centering on Vienna within the twilight years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, such money owed describe the failure of rationalism and the increase of a perilous politics of fable. This ebook tells a unique tale, highlighting a new release of Czech writers and artists extraordinary through their affirmative come across with the trendy international within the first many years of the 20 th century. Novelist and playwright Karel Čapek, in addition to different contributors of his cohort, embraced the probabilities of the post-Habsburg period. Tracing the roots of Čapek’s new release to cubist paintings and turn-of-the-century philosophy, writer Thomas Ort exhibits that the shape of modernism they championed led no longer into the thickets of fascism or communism yet in reality towards liberal political beliefs.

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Extra resources for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938

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But what he did well—extremely well—was to dramatize ideas. His gift (in addition to his astoundingly fertile imagination) was the ability to set ideas in motion, to enact them, to test them, to examine in art what their consequences for life might be. For Čapek, ideas were not valuable for their own sake, but for life’s sake, for their practical results and effects. In his imaginative works, he condensed and abstracted some of the central social, political, and cultural concepts of the day, probing them in witty, accessible, and penetrating ways.

In the meantime, Čapek’s artistic career took off. He completed his first play, The Robber, in late 1919 and saw it premier at Prague’s National Theater in March 1920. , which premiered the following year and catapulted him to international fame. R. was quickly followed by two other plays cowritten with Josef Čapek, From the Life of Insects (1921) and The Fateful Game of Love (1922). At the same time, his first novel, Factory for the Absolute (1921–1922), was published serially in Lidové noviny.

The turn to Paris and away from Vienna was also in part political. In Austria, culture was always a surrogate form of politics, and this shift was yet another installment in the Czech battle against German hegemony. com - licensed to npg - PalgraveConnect - 2013-09-11 40 the Habsburg authorities understandably found it easier to fulfill their cultural rather than political demands. Through culture they hoped to defuse politics. The predictable but unintended consequence, however, was the extreme politicization of culture.

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Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938 by Thomas Ort


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