Josef Kajetán Tyl


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Tyl, Josef Kajetán

 

Born Feb. 4, 1808, in Kutná Hora; died July 11, 1856, in Plzeft; buried in Prague. Czech writer and playwright.

Tyl was one of the founders of the Czech national theater. In the 1830’s and 1840’s he edited journals that supported enlightenment and patriotism and in which he published his articles, essays, and short stories. His prose stemmed from the tradition of sentimental romantic literature but also had realistic traits, as seen in the short stories “The Thief and “From the Life of the Poor.”

Tyl created an original genre, the dramatized fairy tale with topical content; examples were The Bagpiper of Strakonice (1847) and The Stubborn Old Woman (1849). In the play The Miners of Kutná Hora (1848) he sympathetically depicted the workers’ unrest. Tyl’s historical dramas Jan Hus (1849) and The City Dwellers and the Students (1850; published 1870), written during the epoch of the Revolution of 1848, were critical of reaction. Tyl also wrote the domestic dramas The Arsonist’s Daughter (1847) and Bankrupt (1848; published 1854). Tyl’s dynamic plays are remarkable for their vivid use of the vernacular. The Czech national anthem, Where Is My Home?, was written to words by Tyl.

WORKS

Spisy, vols. 1–1,7–10,13–20. Prague, 1952–66.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1954.
Teatr. Moscow, 1957.

REFERENCES

Solov’eva, A. P. Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Laiske, M. J. K. Tyl: Soupis literárního díla. Prague, 1957.
Otruba, M., and M. Kaier. Tvùrci’cesta J. K. Tyla. Prague, 1961.