Modern Czech Poetry/Preface


The general arrangement of this book is uniform with that of my "Modern Russian Poetry", and here, as there, an endeavour has been made to reconcile linguistic and literary interests. I should like to emphasise this, because the publication of the original texts might lead to the erroneous idea that this was intended mainly as a philological work.

As regards the choice of authors, Březina, Machar, Sova and Vrchlický (perhaps also Bezruč), by their undisputed position in Czech literature, claimed an immediate precedence. I was then left with the familiar problem of little space and much material, and as a result I regretfully had to omit a number of poets whom I should have included in a larger collection. In choosing the single items, I aimed at as wide a variety as possible. Thus, where the work of the poets concerned covers a long period, I have taken examples which indicate something of their artistic development. Critics who are familiar with the material will understand that, for obvious reasons, this process could be carried out only in an imperfect manner. For example, Vrchlický's work covers so wide an area, that I have not even attempted to deal with its later phases. But even in that exceptional instance, I followed my principle as far as I went, and I think that this method will be an advantage to readers who seek literary information.

A few translations are reprinted from my "Anthology of Modern Slavonic Literature"; these are marked with an asterisk.

For several years a large amout of material for my work has been made accessible to me through the generosity of Czech authors and publishers. In this respect, I should here like to mention with gratitude the names of Dr. Jaromír Borecký, Fr. Borový, Antonín Klášterský, J. S. Machar, Dr. Arne Novák, J. Otto, Fr. S. Procházka, Antonín Sova, F. Šimáček, Karel Toman and L. N. Zvěřina. Finally I have to thank Josef Baudiš, Mr. Aleš Brož and Dr. Vilém Forster for valuable help in matters of interpretation.P. SELVER.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1970, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 52 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.