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Romantyzm kultury nieromantycznej (przypadek czeski)

Danuta Sosnowska

Romanticism of Non-Romantic Culture (a Czech Case)

The paper focuses on the present day discussion about the place of Romanticism in Czech culture. This issue seemed to be obvious to many generations of Czech critics, who supported the opinion that the Romantic philosophy as well as the Romantic style did not actually fit to the national situation of Czechs in the 19 century. Recently, this belief has th begun to change and the question of “Czech Romanticism” is discussed now from more diverse perspectives. Some Czech critics have started to stress that Romanticism existed in a different embodiment dependent on the local culture, and a clear definition of Romanticism has never been formulated until now. Under the influence of this discussion about Romanticism, as well as the principles of post-structural comparative studies, which emphasise the difference rather than the similarity of the cultural process, some Czech scholars have started to claim that this movement influenced Czech culture much more deeply than it was maintained for years. The author of this paper refers to this polemics but does not become involved in the dispute because she is interested in a different question. She asks why Czechs today want to discover the Romantic culture as a part of their national heritage. In the last paragraph, the author analyses a novel by Karel Sabina, a Czech writer, which can be read as a severe judgment of Romanticism as well as a Romantic judgment of the weakness and defects of the Czech nation