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Jan Neruda (1839–1891) is one of the foremost figures of Bohemian literature. He has tried his skill at every sort of writing, but it is as poet that he is greatest, although it is not easy to pass stable judgment upon such a many-sided, changing accomplishment.

He belongs to a certain period of Bohemian renaissance which is sometimes spoken of as the movement of the sixties, a movement fruitful and far reaching. He may be said to have introduced into his tongue the feuilleton, the arabesque and the short story of form and finish.

In verse the work which he initiated so brilliantly has been carried on by Yaroslav Vrchlický and Svatopluk Čech, who are both world poets not much below the level of Pushkin and Mickiewicz.

Among the most famous of his verse productions are “Cosmic Songs,” “Ballades and Romances,” “Simple Motives.” In addition he has published “Flowers From a Graveyard,” “Parisian Pictures,” “Brief and Briefer Studies,” “Francesca of Rimini” (a play), and two comedies. We include two of his short stories of contemporary life.