By Thomas Ort
In such a lot histories of Europe earlier than the 1st international battle, sleek lifestyles in Habsburg Mitteleuropa takes on a decidedly gloomy solid. Centering on Vienna within the twilight years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, such debts describe the failure of rationalism and the increase of a deadly politics of delusion. This booklet tells a special tale, highlighting a new release of Czech writers and artists wonderful by means of their affirmative come across with the trendy international within the first many years of the 20 th century. Novelist and playwright Karel Čapek, besides different participants of his cohort, embraced the chances of the post-Habsburg period. Tracing the roots of Čapek’s new release to cubist paintings and turn-of-the-century philosophy, writer Thomas Ort exhibits that the shape of modernism they championed led no longer into the thickets of fascism or communism yet in reality towards liberal political beliefs.
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Additional info for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938
He completed his first play, The Robber, in late 1919 and saw it premier at Prague’s National Theater in March 1920. , which premiered the following year and catapulted him to international fame. R. was quickly followed by two other plays cowritten with Josef Čapek, From the Life of Insects (1921) and The Fateful Game of Love (1922). At the same time, his first novel, Factory for the Absolute (1921–1922), was published serially in Lidové noviny. As soon as he completed it, he began to write another play, The Makropulos Case, which he finished in the summer of 1922.
A solid member of the liberal, nationally minded, provincial Czech bourgeoisie, he belonged to all of Úpice’s important patriotic clubs and organizations, striving to enrich the town’s cultural and social life as well as to promote Czech national consciousness. He helped found the local public library and was the president of the town’s amateur theater; he painted and wrote poetry and gave public lectures; in 1895, he was elected to Úpice’s town council. Karel Čapek called him “a good example .
5 Pavel Janák, box with lid (1911). Creamware, ivory glaze, black painted lines. Courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. 4 Josef Chochol, apartment house on Neklan Street, Prague (1913– 1914). Courtesy of Národní Technické Muzeum (NTM, MAS, AAS Sbírka negativů [Josef Chochol]). 6 Josef Gočár, desk and chair (1915). Polished ash, leather, glass, brass. Courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, collection of Dr. Deyl. imaginative new design tradition. In the years after the war, a style derivative of prewar cubism, rondo-cubism, became something like the national architectural style.
Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and his Generation, 1911-1938 by Thomas Ort