Author: Martin Tomášek
University of Ostrava
Translation from Czech by Rosina Kokudeva
Published in Slavyanski dialozi, XIII, 2016, 17
Abstract: The Czech literary scene of 1890s saw a conflict of generations, the causes of which – judging from today’s point of view – do not seem to have been only of artistic nature. J. S. Machar’s critical attitude towards V. Hálek could have stemmed from civilization values, which in the course of the 19th century became more powerful and dynamic along with the economical and social developmental changes of that time. Machar, a representative and speaker of Czech artistic modernism, focuses exclusively on man, contemplating culture as a human creation and striving to free the human society from all fetters limitting its development. He is thus sceptical even about romantic images expressing or renewing the unity of man and nature. The paper attracts attention to Hálek’s book of travel Cestopis na Oupor (Travelling to Oupor, 1872), conceived in that vein, and presents it as one of Euro-American texts inspired by walking and as an important source of Czech environmental aesthetic.
Key words: V. Hálek, J. S. Machar, environmental aesthetics, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, cultivated landscape, wilderness