Historická tematika v prózách Karla Sabiny
HISTORICAL TOPICS IN KAREL SABINA´S FICTION
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This article is an excerpt from the author’s Ph.D. dissertation ‘Karel Sabina epigon a tvůrce’ (Sabina as Original Writer and Imitator; Prague, 2007), which is concerned mainly with the belles-lettres of the poet, dramatist/librettist, novelist, and journalist Karel Sabina (1813–1877). The dissertation combines approaches from literary history, biography, and textual criticism, but its core approach is a detailed interpretation of his individual works, focusing on intertextuality, for example, Sabina’s essay on Karel Hynek Mácha (1810–1836) and Romantic motifs. The extract published here concerns two distinct areas of Sabina’s historical fiction: semi‑historical fiction from 1837–44 (Hrobník, Msta, Obrazy ze XIV. a XV. věku, and Čech), with an ostentatiously ahistorical treatment in the spirit of the melodramaticity of the gothic novel and earlier popular literature, and Sabina’s historical fiction from the 1860s (in particular, Hyacint), which helped to establish this kind of work in modern Czech belles-lettres, and also his adventure literature (Ruesswurm), anticipating some later forms as well. In the first type of writing the article considers Sabina’s remarkable tendency to run down eminent figures of Bohemian history, which in Obrazy is a treatment typical of the popular 1541 chronicle of Václav Hájek z L ibočan, and in Čech, using Jan František Beckovský’s 1700 version of the same chronicle. This tendency in the early Sabina was suppressed by the censor and condemned by people in the arts, like Karel Havlíček Borovský (1821–1856) and later critics as well, but it did not prevent these works from achieving popularity amongst contemporaneous readers. In Sabina’s historical fiction at its height the tendency appears to be the most remarkable approach to writing, aiming to unify fact and fiction in belles-lettres. The article also aims to contribute to the assessment of the value of these works and to provide new findings in textual criticism of the works of Sabina and Mácha.
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