Slavic Languages and Literatures | Czech and Jewish Culture in Bohemia: Poetry, Thought, Film and Novel
C365 | ALL | Volkova


Czech and Jewish Culture in Bohemia: Poetry, Thought, Film and Novel

This class covers the highlights of Czech and Jewish culture produced
on the territory of today’s Czech Republic. It starts with comparing
the educational teachings of Rabbi Loew and the well-known educational
reformer Jan Amos Comenius, two outstanding personalities of the 17th
century Bohemia. We then quickly move into the 20th century comparison
of Czech and Jewish Poetry, as well as such outstanding Czech and
Jewish novelists as Čapek, Kafka, Poláček, Werfel, Kundera and others.
Special emphasis is laid on the comparison of Czech and Jewish humor
and philosophy of life. The famous Prague School thinkers like
Trubetzkoy, Jakobson and Mathesius and their revolutionary theories of
language and literature are a part of this class as well. Holocaust
Jewish writers, such as Arnošt Lustig, Ladislav Fuks et al. are
analyzed. The class concludes
with sessions on Hrabal and Havel. Two films are watched during the
class and two outside the class, portraying the Czech and Jewish humor
as well as the Jewish tragedy of the 20th century.