2005 | 62 | 67-77
Article title

Phenomenon: Michal Viewegh

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The article makes an attempt at the presentation of the literary profile of a popular Czech writer Michal Viewegh, the author of such well-known novels as 'Výchova divek v Cechách' (Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia), 'Úcastnici zájezdu' (Participants of a Trip), 'Román pro zeny' (A Novel for Women). The authoress poses the question about the source of continuous interest of literary critics in the writings of Michal Viewegh. One can risk a statement that it stems from forlorn hopes for great Czech literature after the year of 1989, and also from a clever use by Viewegh of styles and techniques of less valuable popular literature. The writer's debut from 1990 'Názory na vrazdu' (Opinions on Murder) inaugurated a new, in Czech literature, type of detective novel, negating the rules of the genre. His consecutive novel 'Bájcná léta pod psa' (The Wonderful Years of Lousy Living) published in 1992 was acclaimed a revelation. This absurd-humoristic picture of the late years of communism in the form of a family saga and simultaneously an autothematic novel about writing a novel and a kind of a bildungsroman excited positive comments of literary critics, who searched at that time for a recipe for combining modern prose techniques with the need to settle accounts with the recent past. Viewegh seemed to realize these postulates in full. The following books, however, did not arouse the critics' enthusiasm. The writer, in a way, did not fulfil the expectations. The plots of subsequent novels (among others) focused on moral issues, especially concerning sexuality. Nonetheless, Viewegh has been enjoying a good run of literary success and still puzzles the Czech literary critics.
  • A. Gawarecka, c/o Uniwersytet im Adama Mickiewicza, ul. H. Wieniawskiego 1, 61-712 Poznan, Poland
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