Plzeňské sympozia

Aleš Haman

The Man and the Machine in Ctech Literary Naturalism

pp. pp.43–49 (Czech), Summary p. 50 (English)

The study deals with the stylistic features of naturalism in the relation between the man and the machine mechanism in the novels of Josef Karel Šlejhar Peklo [The Hell] and Matěj Anastásia Šimáček Duše továrny [The Spirit of the Factory], with references to Zola's Germinal. The difference between Šimáček and Šlejhar may be explained as a dissimilarity arising from the fact that each was inspired by a different phase of
Zola's work, which was a model for both of them. Šimáček seems to have built on the early phase of the literary production of the French author, culminating in Germinal, whereas Šlejhar probably preferred the later period of Zola's novel production from the end of the 19th century, with ever more obvious features of
allegory. Czech literature is characterised by a certain specific feature of literary naturalism: this term generally refers to the literary movement or tendency of as late as the turn of the 20th century, despite the fact that Zola published his first naturalistic novel already in the 1860s (Thér?se Raquin, 1867) and the first (mostly negative) reactions to his work appeared in the Bohemian Lands already in the early 1880s
(Ferdinand Schulz in the journal Osvěta [Enlightenment] in 1880). Czech naturalism, unlike French or German naturalism, further lacked a crystallised polemic focus against the stereotyped ideals of the homeland, beauty and the good.
Key words: Bohemian Lands, literature, naturalism, vitalism

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