Genealogies of Czech Literary History
Lucio Fontana, "Concetto Spaziale", 1968, idropittura su tela, 73 x 92 cm., cat. gen. 68 B 16, © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano

How to Cite

Rychterová, P. (2015). Genealogies of Czech Literary History. Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, (1), 110–141.
Received 2015-06-23
Accepted 2015-06-23
Published 2015-07-05


The article analyses the most important and most influential narratives of the history of Czech medieval literature that were produced from the beginnings of modern historiography and literary history in the 19th century onwards. The question is how the character of individual narratives and their socio-historical contexts influenced the questions, topics and areas of interest in research on the history of medieval literatures in Bohemia. For Czech literature, such analysis is especially important, because it shows that the problems the history of Czech literature has had to fight from its modern beginnings are also the problems of any new approach that literary historiography may pursue in future, from whatever point of departure. The narratives on which the article focuses are built on an amalgamation of the history of society, language and literature, which a) makes it difficult to supersede them and b) makes any detailed research on transmitted texts look less important. Here lies one of the challenges for future research: the relation of language, text and social and political history has to be analysed in detail, because it is only via their conflation that a coherent narrative of the history of Czech literature has been maintained in the past.

[The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Community's Seventh Franework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement No. 263672.]

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