Zdeněk Kalista jako literární kritik
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|Title:||Zdeněk Kalista jako literární kritik|
|Journal or Publication Title:|
Czech Literature, 58, 2, pp. 168-197
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Kalista, Zdeněk, literary criticism|
Zdeněk Kalista (1900–1982), a scholar of the Baroque, began to devote himself to reviewing as a complement to his original literary work in the early 1920s. His more systematic work in literary criticism began in the mid -1920s, when he was in charge of the arts section of the periodical Demokratický střed (the democratic Centre, 1925–27) and founded the periodical První svazek (the First Volume, 1926–27). under various pseudonyms, including Václav Hrbek, he wrote reviews in addition to articles on other areas of the arts and also forming his programme. His approach to criticism became clear in the 1930s in the periodical Lumír, of which he became editor -in -Chief after Viktor Dyk’s death in 1931. It was here that he began systematically to write articles on contemporary Czech verse. As a critic, Kalista was clearly influenced by his being an historian: a work of poetry became for him a source to be used in the analysis of the spirit of the times. Kalista essentially approached the text of a work of poetry from hermeneutically, without having clearly critical criteria. He sought to comprehend the work sensitively, and deduced his criteria afterwards. He was not an ideological or partisan critic, though his chief professional interest as a critic is relatively clearly understood. (For example, the verse of the ‘Baroque Revival’, in particular, the verse of František Lazecký, Václav Renč, and Josef Kostohryz, as well as jan Čarek’s ‘Boden poetry’ and young poets making their débuts). In his criticism Kalista worked considerably with comparison and the study of development. His terminology and methods are distinctive. Apart from an emphasis on the spiritual side of reality, which clearly anticipated his later theoretical concepts from the field of ‘spiritual history’, which he postulated and promoted, he worked chiefly with the concept of the ‘organicity’ of poetry. Kalista’s criticism is also manifestly influenced by other areas of his interest, other areas of Baroque art and history and the arts in general. He also regularly paid attention to poetry in translation. By the 1930s book reviewing was the chief area of his work in literature. After Lumír was closed down in 1940, however, and also under the weight of external circumstances, Kalista no longer returned to regular book reviewing.