Author: Ani Burova
Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Published in: Slavyanski dialozi, VII, 2010, 10-11

Abstract: Thе article outlines the main postulates of modernistic literary consciousness in the Czech environment and describes the process of their development and justification by analyzing theoretical texts, manifestоs, and polemic texts. The interpretation draws a conclusion about certain duplicity, instability and contradiction of some of the fundamental modernistic theses and principles. In the basis of this phenomenon is the tendency, inherent to different trends of Czech modernism, to collect features, sometimes even contradictory, and to balance opposite characteristics in an attempt to present one’s own viewpoints on art as comprehensive and universal. In this respect, one of the most important terms for the period, Synthetism, is examined. On the basis of synthetism modernists build an idealistic idea of art, which may interpret the world fully and render its whole polysemy adequately. Another aspect of these problems is the refusal to have a clear differentiation between the various trends. In their pursuit for universality modernists avoid the limitations of concrete -isms and prefer generalizing definitions such as „modern art“. Examination of the central concept individualism is an illustration of the inner contradiction of modernistic theses. In Czech environment individualism paradoxically bears the idea not only of a particular personality, but also of its engagement with the public. The complicated attitude of modernism towards local literary tradition is also analyzed. By complex rhetorical moves and formulations the principles typical of modernism are reconciled with the attitudes inherent to the Czech literary tradition which is often opposite to them.