Vitalis 2005 Kovakansi


Illustrated by Karel Hruska

These two tales, here translated into English for the first time, reveal a little-known aspect of the celebrated German poet, who was born and educated in Prague and profoundly influenced by his years there. The stories depict the ethnic struggle between the Germans and the Czechs that riveted that city during the 1890s.

"King Bohush," inspired by an actual murder, examines Czech intellectual life of the period. Bohush is a simple-minded hunchback who naively meets with a group of artists and writers at the local cafe to espouse a radical form of Czech nationalism. He confides an innocent secret to a brooding revolutionary named Rezek, who, when other members of the group are arrested, murders Bohush for supposedly betraying their cause. "The Siblings," a more disturbing but less cohesive tale, explores Rezek's subsequent malign effects on an unsophisticated brother and sister, symbols of the two sides of Bohemian culture. 

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Hakusanoja: Praha

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