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Božena Němcová a sestry Rottovy

Insitute of Czech Literature, of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
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  • Pg Slavic
  • Baltic
  • Albanian Languages And Literature
  • Design
  • Literature
  • Philosophy


The study is concerned with the relationship of three women-writers of the 19th century (Božena Němcová and the Rott sisters), involving both the point of view of their personal life and their artistic activity. The material basis provide especially two volumes of Correspondence of Božena Němcová, which have been recently published, supplemented by other, so far unknown sources. Mutual contacts of three women began in 1850 when Němcová started to visit the Mužák family quite regularly. The study gives an account of close relationship of Němcová and Sofie Rottová and shows how the work of G. Sandová is reflected in a preserved correspondence. Yet, there are small marks of controversy of friends, in the spring of 1853, and at the same year, the mutual contacts stopped. The reasons of break have been so far interpreted in the light of late memorial prose of K. Světlá Z literárního soukromí depicting Němcová with critical distance. The study discusses the mutual division at the basis of new sources, namely the mutual correspondence of the Rott sisters and so far unpublished diary entries of Sofie Rottová. Regarding the split between the friends, it may be seen the role of Němcová´s relationship to Doctor V. D. Lambl (who was originally the suitor to Podlipská), however, at the same time, the controversy is rendered within the wider context as an evidence of fundamental transformations of set of values, which appeared in the 1850s and which was defined by J. W. Burrow as the transition from “romanticism” to “postromanticism”. As far as the personal life and social activity of Němcová are concerned, we might observe how her attitude was connected with older romantic ideas, in which she was intellectually maturing (“Českomoravské bratrstvo”, reading) and of which she could not get herself untied, while younger Rott sisters, especially Johana Mužáková-Karolina Světlá, from the mid 50s strove for new (postromantic) streams. At the end of 50s Johana Mužáková had another reason to distance herself from Němcová. As a beginnig authoress (in 1858 she published her début in an almanac Máj) she was more than eager to set up as an independent original personality, dissimilating to Božena Němcová. The last part of study analyses the hidden polemics of literary beginnings of K. Světlá against prosaic works by Němcová. The work by K. Světlá is presented as an example of newly establishing ethical and aesthetical norms.

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