By Thomas Ort
In so much histories of Europe earlier than the 1st global struggle, sleek lifestyles in Habsburg Mitteleuropa takes on a decidedly gloomy solid. Centering on Vienna within the twilight years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, such bills describe the failure of rationalism and the increase of a perilous politics of myth. This ebook tells a distinct tale, highlighting a iteration of Czech writers and artists distinct through their affirmative come across with the trendy global within the first many years of the 20 th century. Novelist and playwright Karel Čapek, in addition to different individuals of his cohort, embraced the probabilities of the post-Habsburg period. Tracing the roots of Čapek’s iteration to cubist artwork 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 in reality towards liberal political beliefs.
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Additional info for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938
For him, the truly characteristic space of Hungarian cultural life at the turn of the century was not the “garden” but the “workshop,” that is, its public spaces: clubs, cafes, newspaper offices.
47 After Hitler’s assumption of power in Germany in 1933, he spoke out tirelessly, both in his journalistic and imaginative writings, against the danger of fascism to Czechoslovakia and to Europe as a whole. His novel War with the Newts (1936) and his plays The White Plague (1937) and Mother (1938) are thinly veiled allegories of the menace posed by fascism. 48 He was likewise a member of a committee to assist refugees from the Third Reich, who began pouring into Czechoslovakia in the mid-1930s.
With the exception of Kubišta, Kubín, and Matějček, they were soon joined in the Skupina by Karel and Josef Čapek, Otokar Fischer, Otto Gutfreund, František Langer, Václav Vilém Štech, Václav Štěpán, Jan Thon, and Zdeněk Wirth. Although these names will be unfamiliar to most American readers, they belong to the leading representatives of early-twentieth-century Czech modernism. The secession from Mánes and organization of the Skupina was a declaration of generational independence. But for what precisely did the group and the generation it claimed to represent stand?
Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938 by Thomas Ort