Neoficiální drama z komunistické totality

Lenka Jungmannová (ed.)

Anthology Neoficiální drama z komunistické totality (The Unofficial drama from Communist Totality) is a collection of selected Czech plays created in 1948–1989, which have either been preserved in manuscript or have been published by samizdat or published in exile. We included forgotten plays in the collection, because we wanted to show a different form of the corpus of unofficial drama than the one known so far. In the concept of the anthology we relied on literary and theatre history, taking into account, among others, the dominant position of absurd drama in Czech unofficial dramatic work (this area is represented by dramas: Chléb náš vezdejší [Our daily bread] by Jiří Kolář, Finále nadparády [The final of superparade] by Dalibor Plichta and Mefistův monolog [Mephistopheles’ monologue] by Josef Šafařík), but we also presented the “epic” drama (Neposkvrněné početí Josefa V. [The Immaculate Conception of Joseph V.] by Pavel Tigrid), typical of that time, or theater “in the stage of birth” (Nikolaj Terlecký’s Commedia dell’arte) or plays dedicated to the Donjuan myth (Bloudění dona Juana [The wandering of Don Juan] by Mirko Tůma and Dona Juana [Dona Juana] by Alexandr Kliment), which can prove the effort of forbidden playwrights to relate their work to the symbolic space of world literature. The Czech specialty, underground drama, is represented by Vratislav Brabenec’s play Svědkové (Witnesses), radio play is represented by Karel Hvížďala’s drama Zprávy (News). Since we wanted the volume to present dramas from all phases of communist totalitarianism and spheres of unofficial literature, including the transitions between Czech and foreign assimilated literary identities, we decided to include plays by playwrights living in exile: the play Čížci (Czechs) by the Czech-American writer Jan Novák and Mezi lidožrouty (Among cannibals) by the Czech-German writer Libuše Moníková. The main benefit of the publication is considered to be the presentation of a materially little-known picture of Czech unofficial drama. The compendium of plays is introduced by a theatrological study which provides a comprehensive overview of Czech unofficial drama.

Editors Lenka Jungmannová
Title Neoficiální drama z komunistické totality
Publisher Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR
Co-Publisher Academia
Year of publication 2021
Page count 532
Format 16,5 × 24,5 cm
ISBN 978-80-7658-021-3