Author: Zdeněk Smolka 
University of Ostrava
Translation from Czech by Bogdan Dichev
Published in Slavyanski dialozi, XIII, 2016, 17

Abstract: This study is concerned with certain problematic aspects of comprehending the artistic personality of Petr Bezruč (actual name Vladimír Vašek) and his central work – the collection of poems Silesian Songs (Slezské písně). It focuses on mythologizing of its author and his work. It takes notice of the fact that the author has become a symbol of the Czech region of Silesia. The article discusses those views which perceive Petr Bezruč as the author of only one book and points out the fact that Vašek himself contributed to this misconception by making use of a range of pseudonyms, employing them in order to draw distinctions between his particular literary works. This also led to doubts regarding Vašek’s authorship of Silesian Songs. The study polemicizes with interpretations of Silesian Songs as purely objective, political and realistic poetry. Iinstead it points out its intimate motivations. The paper emphasises that Silesian Songs are not only connected with the Czech region of Silesia despite the fact that it plays central role in Bezruč’s work. The article expresses doubts about the one-sided perception of Petr Bezruč as merely a poet of industrial and urban areas and instead emphasises his interest in the rural environment.

Key words: Petr Bezruč, Silesian Songs, authorship of Silesian Songs, mythologizing of the author