By Thomas Ort
In such a lot histories of Europe earlier than the 1st global conflict, smooth existence 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 deadly politics of myth. This ebook tells a distinct tale, highlighting a new release of Czech writers and artists exotic by way of their affirmative come across with the fashionable international within the first a long time of the 20th century. Novelist and playwright Karel Čapek, in addition to different individuals of his cohort, embraced the chances of the post-Habsburg period. Tracing the roots of Čapek’s iteration to cubist paintings and turn-of-the-century philosophy, writer Thomas Ort indicates that the shape of modernism they championed led no longer into the thickets of fascism or communism yet actually toward liberal political beliefs.
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Additional info for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938
50 When Edwin and Willa Muir, the renowned translators of Kafka’s prose into English, lived in Prague in the early 1920s, they were closely acquainted with Čapek, who introduced them to the world of Czech literature and sometimes accompanied them to the theater. They, in turn, tutored him in English. 51 There are several reasons for the shift in Čapek’s fortunes. First, the political environment in postwar Czechoslovakia was decidedly unfavorable to him. As an outspoken opponent of communism, Čapek was a persona non grata in Stalinist Czechoslovakia.
At the same time, his first novel, Factory for the Absolute (1921–1922), was published serially in Lidové noviny. As soon as he completed it, he began to write another play, The Makropulos Case, which he finished in the summer of 1922. He then immediately embarked on the composition of a longer, more ambitious novel, Krakatit, on which he worked until 1924. com - licensed to npg - PalgraveConnect - 2013-09-11 Introduction 21 Art and Life in Modernist Prague Throughout this immensely productive period Čapek wrote regular newspaper columns on art, literature, philosophy, and, increasingly, politics.
35 The young Karel Čapek came into contact with artisans and factory laborers, the wealthy and the poor, Czechs and Germans, not only because Úpice was small and accessible, but also because his father was for many years the town’s only doctor. Dr. Antonín Čapek (1855–1929) ministered to the health needs of all, regardless of social status or nationality. His office was located in an annex to his house, exposing Karel to many of Úpice’s contrasts directly in his own home. But even more so, Karel, as the most academically gifted of his three siblings and the one expected to follow his father’s footsteps into the medical profession, frequently accompanied Dr.