The Soul Of A Century/Karel Hynek Macha

The Soul Of A Century  (1943) 
Karel Hynek Macha
Karel Hynek Mácha, from The Soul of a Century.jpg

KAREL HYNEK MACHA

(1810–1836)

Karel Hynek Macha may well be called the founder of the Romanticist movement in Czech literature. Macha’s “May” and his unfinished poem “Mnich” (The Monk) show to what extent the young dreamer came under the influence of Byron. Macha was born November 10, 1810, in Prague, where he completed his study of law and then moved to Litomerice, where he died under tragic circumstances November 5, 1836. As usual, the young poet was misunderstood by his contemporaries, who accused him of mimickry in his devotion to the general trend of romanticism. However, later day critics have exhonerated Macha. They have found his works refreshingly original both in the lyrical quality and specifically local color of his work, which blends admirably with traces of the foreign influence. Today Macha stands as one of the recognized founders of modern Czech poetry, whose importance increases with time.

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