|Abstract (english)|| |
The period of normalization in Czechoslovakia started after the military intervention of the Warsaw Pact countries in August 1968. The military intervention was the response of the official regimes of the Eastern Bloc countries to the reform movements that developed in the Czechoslovak Communist Party and, later, during the 1960s, in the whole Czechoslovak society. A consequence of the breakdown of reform movements was a ban of public action on all persons who participated in the reform movement. Censorship served as one of the strongest tools for shaping the society in Czechoslovakia after 1968 and expelling influential intellectuals from the public. At the beginning of the 1970s, Czech literature was divided into official, unofficial and, so-called, gray zone. The official part of Czech literature belonged to the writers who continued to publish their works in the state publishing houses. Unofficial writers published in samizdat and emigration, and their plays were performed in the theaters abroad. The grey scene was composed of authors working in both fields, depending on the changing circumstances and their propensity to compromise. Although the socio-political circumstances hindered the development of Czech culture, art and literature during the period of normalization – they were constantly controlled by the official regime through censorship measures – one of the most difficult periods of Czech history developed one of the brightest periods of Czech art. The literature of that time was gaining enormous attention from the public outside of the country, led by the names of Milan Kundera, one of the most popular writers in Europe in the 1980s, and a dissident and playwright Václav Havel. The research concentrates on the reception of the Czech unofficial literature by readers in Croatia between the Prague Spring and military intervention of the Warsaw Pact countries in Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the eighties and the beginning of the nineties. The research includes a possible impact of the unofficial Czech literature on Croatian literature of the same period. The dissertation demonstrates the extent to which fictional and non-fictional works of Czech samizdat and emigrant literature scene in the analyzed period was available to readers in Croatia, the way in which it was accepted among readers, whether there was a change in reception during that period, and what the direction of that change was. The research shows that the reception of the unofficial Czech literature is realized in all three manifestations according to the classification of Manfred Schmeling – the passive, the reproductive and the productive one. The thesis complements the knowledge on the Croatian-Czech literary and cultural connections in the second half of the 20th century. The bibliography of the translations included in this analysis has been compiled according to the library databases of two libraries: Nacionalna i sveučilišna knjižnica (Zagreb, Republic of Croatia) and Národní knihovna České Republiky (Prague, Czech Republic), supplemented by the exile issues of the digital exile library database Libri Prohibiti. Also, research involves the analysis of the reception of Czech unofficial literature in periodicals and magazines Republika, 15 dana, Dubrovnik, Pitanja, Revija, Rival, Vjesnik u srijedu, Vidik, Forum, Gordogan, Quorum, Oko, Polet, Književna smotra, Prolog, Novi prolog, Danas, and daily newspapers Večernji list and Vjesnik. In the introductory part of the research, four hypotheses were put forward, and, ultimately, confirmed: - the works of the unofficial Czech literature in the analyzed period were well received by readers in Croatia - readers in Croatia haf more access to works by writers who worked in exile than to those who self-published in Czechoslovakia - Croatian publishers, by publishing works of the unofficial Czech literature, primarily listened to market demands of the 1980s - towards the end of the 1980s, there was a change in the intensity of reception in the fields of publishing and theatre, and in the critical reception due to a new constellation of sociopolitical relations in Yugoslavia and Croatia. During the twenty years of normalization in Czechoslovakia, publishing houses in Yugoslavia continuously published Czech exile and samizdat literary works. The intensification of the publishing activity was noticeable during the 1980s, especially from 1984 to 1988 when, in just four years, 56% of all books were published. In the whole period of normalization, 81% of all published books in Yugoslavia belong to exile production of the Czech unofficial scene. Due to a unique market and the country they shared, Croatian readers are strongly focused on the editions published by Belgrade and Sarajevo publishers. The translations of Czech unofficial authors were also published in Ljubljana and Skopje. However, due to a language barrier, readers in Croatia were not introduced to these publications. The largest and most reputable Yugoslav publishers published the translations of Czech unofficial authors in their market-leading editions. The most translated and published texts among readers in Croatia are novels. Novels and short stories of Milan Kundera and Josef Škvorecký make up more than 86% of the total prose book publications, most of them in the most successful publisher’s editions. Milan Kundera’s novel Žert (Croatian Šala, English The Joke) was published eight times in Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo from 1968 to 1990, and was often taken as the starting point of the evaluation of the critical reception of Kundera’s work. Due to the fact that Croatian libraries were not digitized during the 1970s and 1980s, it was not possible to obtain information on the borrowing of publications by unofficial authors. However, the lists of the most read and best-selling books in Croatian libraries and bookstores that can be found in newspapers from the 1980s often contain titles written by unofficial Czech authors. The reception of these authors in Croatia was not delayed during the two analyzed decades. Most of the translations of Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade publishing houses were published within a very short period of time, after the first issues were published. Poetry translations were mostly published by magazines such as Republika, Forum, 15 dana and Rival. The only Czech poet whose collection of poetry was published was the 1984 Nobel Prize laureate for literature, Jaroslav Seifert. Poetry provides a greater distance from reality than novels and drama, so unofficial Czech poets in the 1970s and the 1980s in Croatia and writers who published their works freely in Czechoslovakia often published side by side. Due to the fact that the primary area of expression of dramatic literature is theater, we note a small number of print editions of plays written by unofficial playwrights. The theater reception of unofficial writers grew extremely during the 1980s, which corresponded to the situation in the publishing market. Plays by Václav Havel, Pavel Kohout and Milan Kundera account for as much as 75% of all premiere titles. These plays, and plays written by other playwrights less known to Croatian audience, were performed in national theaters in Zagreb, Rijeka and Split, but also in g Teatar ITD in Zagreb, aimed mostly at students, and a touring theatre Kazalište u gostima which, in 1974, began its work with Milan Kundera’s play Ševa. During the analyzed period, and especially at the end of the 1980s, Zagreb’s theaters often brought to the stage, during one season, a play by an unofficial playwright, a play that belongs to the classics of Czech literature, as well as guest performances by Czechoslovak theaters. Also, performances of unofficial authors were often considered the culmination of the theatre production of the particular season, so there is a number of examples showing that these plays represented Croatian theaters at festivals such as Gavelline večeri and Festival malih i eksperimentalnih scena Jugoslavije. A strong theatre reception was accompanied by a developed theatre-critical reception, but its scope depends, in part, on extra-literary factors. For example, the number of stage plays written by Václav Havel and Pavel Kohout were almost equal in Croatia in the 1970s and the 1980s, but the critical reception of Havel’s plays was much stronger due to the Havel’s dissident activities. Croatian publishers were not interested in publishing editions of the official Czech literature and the reception of these works was not developed during the 1970s and the 1980s. Those representatives of the official literature that were published and read in Croatia, such as Ladislav Fuks and Vladimír Páral, represent the qualitative highlights of the official literary production. Although the reception of the unofficial production was exceptional and the reception of the official literature was very poor, the cooperation at the institutional level existed, so the representatives of Czech official writers regularly participated in professional gatherings such as Zagrebački književni razgovori. An increased reception in Croatia occurred after 1980. The first decade of the normalization saw a good reception of Czech unofficial authors as a result of an interest in the events during the military intervention of Warsaw Pact and the events that followed. By the 1980s, Czech literature among readers in Yugoslavia had built up such a reputation that publishing unofficial authors made excellent profits for publishers in Yugoslavia. The popularity of unofficial writers in Western Europe, especially Milan Kundera, certainly contributed to this. Social changes in Yugoslav society in the second half of the 1980s affected the changes in critical reception. In the previous period, the excellent reception of the unofficial works in Yugoslavia was explained by the horizon of expectations of readers in Croatia, ie. Yugoslavia, that was built on the Czech literary tradition of Karel Čapek and Jaroslav Hašek and the brilliant acceptance of specific “Czech humor”. Towards the end of the 1980s, the analysis began focusing on good reception as a consequence of a similar historical experience in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia during the 20th century. Several critics have agreed with the thesis that in the works of Czech writers, the readers and theatre audience in Croatia could see the image of Yugoslav society. Croatian writers could not or did not want to write about similar situation in Yugoslavia. There is no reception of the unofficial Czech literature in the Croatian educational system. This fact can be explained by the lack of affinity of the Croatian secondary school curriculum authors towards contemporary writers. By the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, the chronological principle of teaching literature prevailed in all Croatian secondary schools. School curriculum included an extremely small number of works written after 1970, and most of the works included were written by Croatian authors. The proposed reform of the national curriculum, published in 2016, included Milan Kundera’s novel and Václav Havel’s play. However, the implementation of this proposal in the Croatian educational system has not occurred. The topic of this research, the reception of the unofficial Czech literature in Croatia from 1968 to 1990, the changes in the reception due to the changing social circumstances in Croatian society and the possible influence of the Czech unofficial literature on the works of Croatian writers, complete the knowledge of Croatian-Czech literary and cultural connections in the second half of the twentieth century.