Competing languages of Czech nation-building: Jan Kollár and the melodiousness of Czech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the modern era, the institution of literature is being reconceived across Europe as a national institution. But the new paradigm of national literatures requires a remaking of literary discourse, including the transformation of critical terminology, and this results in literary discourse becoming politicized. By analyzing the history of the term libozvučnost (melodiousness) in the Czech national literary revival, David L. Cooper demonstrates how this seemingly innocent literary term became a political lightening rod for friends pursuing the same national program. This strongly suggests that, in the formative era of national literatures, using literary issues to discuss politics is not simply a matter of instrumentalizing literary criticism for covert political activity but that discussing literary values is directly political. The example of libozvučnost also reveals how the "borrowed" discourses of Romanticism and nationalism were fundamentally remade to respond to the modern Czech situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-320
Number of pages20
JournalSlavic Review
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

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state formation
discourse
language
literary criticism
Romanticism
political activity
technical language
nationalism
paradigm
politics
history
literature
Nation-building
Language
Values
Literary Discourse
National Literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Competing languages of Czech nation-building : Jan Kollár and the melodiousness of Czech. / Cooper, David L.

In: Slavic Review, Vol. 67, No. 2, 01.01.2008, p. 301-320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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