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.


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


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Of late, the works have been systematically devoted to by Jakub Hrusa, who instead of sequencing them chronologically, starting with the overture to the incidental music for Samberk's play Josef Kajetan Tyl, titled My Home, and ending with the programme overture Othello, has opted for presenting first the programme overture cycle Nature, Life and Love, followed by the earlier compositions, dating from the 1880s.
For example the popular dramatist Vaclav Kliment Klicpera wrote the comedy Zensky boj [The Woman's Fight] (1827), which was not itself particularly successful, but provided the basis for another play by the extremely influential national revivalist Josef Kajetan Tyl Nove Amazonky aneb zenska vojna [The New Amazons or the Women's War] (1843).