Svatováclavské písně v české barokní literatuře
SONGS ABOUT SAINT WENCESLAS IN CZECH BAROQUE LITERATURE
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This essay discusses Saint Wenceslas songs as a genre. These songs appeared in publications from the end of the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth. The author first considers the ‘life’ of the old Czech chorale, ‘Svatý Václave, vévodo české země’ (Saint Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia), which remained important even in the Baroque period and functioned as prototype of the nascent hymns of intercession. In these, the most frequent, Wenceslas is portrayed as a strong ruler, warrior, and patron. A self-evident component of the songs is the narrative (the narrative song and the eulogistic narrative anthem), which often presents a distinctive picture of Wenceslas as an ascetic who is sometimes even feminized or sentimentalized. The most ambitious Wenceslas songs are contemplative. Few from this period exist and the essay analyses the most remarkable of them, ‘Kam pospícháš choti Krista?’ (Whither Dost Thou Hasten, Bride of Christ?), in its original, contemplative form, and also discusses its transformation into another genre in augmented, later versions.
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