Looking at the past and present of Czech and Slovak literary development from the Central European and European perspective
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The year 1918, which brought the split of the Habsburg monarchy and the rise of Czechoslovakia, represented the final completion of the constitution of the modern nation-state society. This complicated process, not very precisely named by its contemporaries as "national revival", was a result in both the Slavic and non-Slavic Central European milieux of the complicated emancipation movement of the Czech and Slovak nations. This newlyfounded state had been based upon a kinship of language and ethnicity, but its peoples still had differing historical and confessional traditions as well as developmental potentialities. Therefore, the official ideology of unitarian Czechoslovakism held up the construction of a higher-level Czechoslovak unity in the cultural sphere, but, in reality, there were more diverse literary discourses which proliferated both in integrational and disintegrational forms, as well as artistic poetics, ethnic minorities, and several co-existing languages. In the interwar period of 1918-1939, there was a dynamized literary development freeing the creative potential of artistic generations and single subjects; this was politically influenced by Masaryk’s idea of democratic community in the geopolitical space between the West and the East in both cultures. This situation in Czech and Slovak literatures contributed to a more intensive self-reflection of European ideological and aesthetic currents through which both literatures moved closer to world literature in their most celebrated creations.
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