Rebelanti, tuláci a cikáni – domestikace jinakosti v Hálkově venkovské próze

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Title:Rebelanti, tuláci a cikáni – domestikace jinakosti v Hálkově venkovské próze
Creators:
Soukup, Daniel
Journal or Publication Title:
Czech Literature, 58, 6, pp. 732-758
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hálek, Vítězslav, Gypsies, stereotype, Bajrama, interpretation

Abstract

This article is concerned with the representation of Gypsies in ‘Bajrama’ (1858), an early short story by Vítězslav Hálek, contrasting it with other of his prose works which portray Bohemian­ village life. It is hoped that this contextual approach might lead to a subtler interpretation of the Gypsy characters in ‘Bajrama’ than a critical deconstruction of the ‘Gypsy stereotype’ would­ yield. Critics have noted the importance of the romantic triad music–nature–love (typical also of the literary portrayal of the Gypsy) in Hálek’s works. What has received less attention is the communal dimension of his portrayal of the erotic. Although several pairs of Hálek’s ideal lovers spend some time alone in the wild, this period of their life is always temporary. Especially in Hálek’s late prose works (‘Na statku a v chaloupce’, ‘Na vejminku’, and ‘Pod pustým kopcem’), the narrative culminates in the creation of a model home (one of Hálek’s central concepts), which becomes also the social and symbolic centre of the village community. It is therefore difficult to agree with F. X. Šalda’s view that Hálek is ‘in favour of complete freedom, almost an anarchist’. In fact, Hálek’s ostensible radicalism masks a Weltanschauung which has a good deal in common with the traditional patriarchal ideal. With its predictable plot (making use of the eternal triangle) and its stereotypical elements in the representation of the Gypsies, the short story ‘Bajrama’ might not appear remarkable in itself. Nevertheless, this tragic story of a Bohemian village lad, Jeník, with the Gypsy girl, Bajrama, differs in many respects from the depiction of love in other works by Hálek. For one thing, the Gypsies are not associated with either of Hálek’s usual idealistic conceptualizations of nature (‘ubiquitous music’ and the ‘unchanging laws’). Instead, Hálek has them embody the morally dubious notions of homelessness and wildness. More important, Jeník remains hopelessly torn between his desire to retain his prominent position in the Bohemian village community and his desperate passion for the sinister otherness of Bajrama. This dilemma reaches its narrative conclusion (both Jeník and Bajrama are killed by the girl’s Gypsy lover, Salem), but at the existential level, it cannot be resolved. Beneath the conventional tragic plot of ‘Bajrama’, one therefore finds traces of a genuine ethical and psychological tragedy: a fatal rift between erotic desire and an acceptable ideal of love.

Official URL: http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=049AD52A-4432-4D98-B820-1A14ACA211E4&articleid=687EA84A-EE1D-4F56-8CEC-3379F4C22B36

Title:Rebelanti, tuláci a cikáni – domestikace jinakosti v Hálkově venkovské próze
Translated title:The Literary Gypsy and the Creative Personality in Hálek’s Bajrama
Creators:
Soukup, Daniel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hálek, Vítězslav, Gypsies, stereotype, Bajrama, interpretation
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PG Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages and literature
Divisions:Humanities and Social Sciences > 9. Section of Humanities and Philology > Institute of Czech Literature > Česká literatura (Czech Literature)
Journal or Publication Title:Czech Literature
Volume:58
Number:6
Page Range:pp. 732-758
ISSN:0009-0468
Publisher:Insitute of Czech Literature, of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://avi.lib.cas.cz/node/20Publisher
ID Code:7448
Item Type:Article
Deposited On:21 Sep 2012 19:57
Last Modified:21 Sep 2012 17:57

Citation

Soukup, Daniel (2010) Rebelanti, tuláci a cikáni – domestikace jinakosti v Hálkově venkovské próze. Czech Literature, 58 (6). pp. 732-758. ISSN 0009-0468

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