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2005 | 53 | 3 | 324-360

Article title

The Verse Style of Jiri Karasek's Second Period


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The article considers works from Jiri Karásek ze Lvovic's second period of writing verse - namely the collections 'Endymion' (1909) and 'Ostrov vyhnancu' (Isle of the Banished, 1912). It aims primarily to describe his style in this period and compare it with his style from the previous one. In his second period, Karásek (1871-1951) turned completely away from the verse libre that had been typical of his first period and his style became fully harmonized. The harmonizing tendency influenced his return to the brilliantly conceived sonnet, which predominated mainly in 'Endymion'. In this period his style also shifted to the use of stylization approaches. His poems from the first period considered the theme of the 'unknown brothers', kindred spirits of the persona, of a being proclaiming the same ideals as he did. In the second period these persona were made strikingly concrete by means of poems stylized as the characters' own utterances. In these utterances, moreover, a relationship began, nearly of self-identification (or self-stylization), with an unspecified lyrical subject. These new poems are distinguished chiefly by a clear dramatic quality and are reminiscent of monologues for the stage. An important shift took place in his echoes of Antiquity. Whereas in his first period everyday life in Antiquity predominated in a chronotopical stylization, in Karásek's second period Classical mythology predominates. A shift also took place in his general perception of historical periods. Compared to his earlier adoration of historical chronotopes, his work in this period (particularly in 'Ostrov vyhnancu') expresses a striking antagonism between the individual and the milieu. Apart from this complex description the article also concentrates on several topics stemming directly from the shifts in Karásek's style, which took place in the second period. It presents a broad picture of the motif of the androgyne in his work, and suggests several analogies between his style and androgyny. It describes in detail two of Karásek's central conceptions of Classical Antiquity - everyday Antiquity and mythological Antiquity - and compares them. Since the influence of Jaroslav Vrchlický (1853-1912) is often emphasized in assessments of Karásek's second period as a poet, the article also compares the styles of the two writers, pointing out certain similarities and differences.








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  • K. Kolarik, Filozofická fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, nám. Jana Palacha 2, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic


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