Čech, Svatopluk(svä`tôplo͝ok chĕkh), 1846–1908, Czech poet and novelist. His strong Pan-Slavism and his love for democracy and freedom won him great popularity. His political enthusiasms animate many of his writings. Among Čech's major epics are The Adamites (1873), Žižka (1879), and Václav of Michalovice (1880). He also wrote idyllic verse on Czech country life, notably In the Shade of the Linden Tree (1879), and satirical novels, including the utopian Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon (1886).
Born Feb. 21, 1846, in the village of Ostředek, near Benešov; died Feb. 23, 1908, in Prague. Czech writer.
Čech graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Prague in 1869. From 1878 to 1899 he was an editor of the progressive journal Květy. He began writing in the 1860’s. In his verse anthologies Morning Songs (1887) and New Songs (1888) and the narrative poems The Songs of a Slave (1894) and The Mowers (1903), Čech criticized bourgeois society and praised the struggle of working people against oppression, expressing faith in their victory. His prose works include the satirical novella A New Amazing Excursion of Mr. Brouček, This Time Into the 15th Century (1888; Russian translation, 1953), in which Čech ridiculed the philistinism and unscrupulousness of the Czech bourgeoisie and glorified the heroic Hussite past. In the narrative poem The Steppe (1908) he hailed the Russian Revolution of 1905–07.
Čech’s works reveal romantic tendencies but are essentially realistic. They influenced the development of Czech democratic and revolutionary poetry.
WORKSSebrané spisy, vols. 1–30. Prague, 1899–1910.
Výbor z díla. Prague, 1950.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. Moscow, 1954.
REFERENCESKishkin, L. S. Svatopluk Chekh. Moscow, 1959.
Shmel’kova, I. A. Svatopluk Chekh: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1959.
Dějiny cěské literatury, vol. 3. Prague, 1961. Pages 277–93.