Cover Osteuropa 10/2013

In Osteuropa 10/2013
Teil des Lesepaket Literaturwissenschaft

From Splendid Isolation to Mainstream
Homosexuality in Czech Literature

Martin C. Putna

Deutsche Fassung


The first traces of processing the homosexual experience can be found in Czech literature in the second half of the 19th century. At that time, authors sublimated their feelings, hid behind masks, and sent at best hidden signals. Otokar Březina, the most important author of Czech symbolism, and the expressionist and surrealist Richard Weiner still chose this path. The first to take a different path was Jiří Karasek ze Lvovic, who no longer masked homosexuality, but stylized it by projecting it into Antiquity. For contemporary poet Jiří Kuběna, Antiquity and the Middle Ages no longer provide the backdrop that made it possible to express the unspeakable. Like Václav Jamek, Kuběna was already making his homosexuality a theme under the Communist regime. Therefore, their work could appear only after 1990, when a literature of (self-) liberation inferior in artistic terms was also flourishing.

(Osteuropa 10/2013, pp. 145–194)