Cesty tam a zase zpátky. Kolárova novela Libuše v Americe a její hodnotová orientace
The Way There and Back Again: Kolár’s Short Story Libuše in America and the Orientation of Its Values
- Číslo 34 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceSlovo a smysl, 2020, 2, 70-79
Historický román, romantická ironie, Josef Jiří Kolár, utopie, emigrace
This study aims to give a new perspective on Josef Jiří Kolár’s short story Libuše in America (German 1842, Czech 1854), long considered by critics and literary historians as a kind of popular adventure story without ideological or aesthetic ambitions. The study frst examines Kolár’s prose in the context of a contemporary domestic historical short story that takes liberties with its historical source material. In Libuše in America, however, such liberties are exaggerated to the point of founding an alternate parallel history in opposition to the tragic nature of actual historical events. Te next part of the study uses specifc examples to show how the efect of this discrepancy between the fantasy and the real world is intensifed by the original use of compositional, lexical, grammatical and poetic means (i.e. plot parallels, ‘inappropriate’ relationships between characters, linguistic exclusivity and expressiveness, contrasting poetics, and vulgarity). The fnal section shows the mutual refection of an idealized Czech society in America and the real situation in Bohemia as a manifestation of romantic irony and product of the author’s bitter refections on the decline of the Czech world.