Born Feb. 1, 1882, in Úvaly, near Prague; died Jan. 16, 1967, in Prague. Czech author. People’s Artist of Czechoslovakia (1947). Member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (1921).
Early in life, Majerová lost her father. She grew up in Kladno in the family of a trade union activist. She acquired a good knowledge of the life of miners.
In 1906-07, Majerová was a student auditor at the Sorbonne. Her first works, the novel Virginity (1907) and collections of short stories, condemn the capitalist system, which cripples people physically and morally. The novel Square of the Republic (1914) reveals the tense situation in Europe after the Russian Revolution of 1905-07 and criticizes anarchism and terrorist methods. The heroine of the novel The Best of Worlds (1923) breaks with her petit bourgeois environment and finds the road to revolution. After publishing the Utopian novel The Dam (1932), Majerová completed her many years’ work on The Siren (1935), an epic about the development of the workers’ movement in Bohemia from the middle of the 19th century until the Great October Revolution; the plot of the work centers on the life of three generations of miners. The novel Ballad of the Miners (1938) deals with the tragic fate of a proletarian family and the inner world of the working man.
After the liberation of Czechoslovakia from fascism (during the occupation the writer was under police surveillance), Majerová took part in the building of socialism in Czechoslovakia and the creation of a socialist culture. Her collections of novellas and short stories and the books of essays The Path of Lightning (1951) and The Wild West (1954; 2nd ed., 1961) reflect the intellectual growth of the new socialist man. Majerova’s numerous essays about the USSR have been collected in the book Triumphal Procession (1953). She was one of the founders of socialist realism in Czech literature.
Majerová is also known as a writer of children’s books; she wrote the collection of short stories The Miraculous Hour (1923) and the novels Bruno (1930) and A Girl Robinson (1940). In 1955 she was awarded the K. Gottwald State Prize.
WORKSSpisy, vols. 1-19. Prague, 1953-61.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. proizv. Moscow, 1952.
Medal’on: Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1963.
Ploshchad’ Respubliki. Luchshii iz mirov. Moscow, 1970.
REFERENCESKuznetsova, R. R. “M. Maierova.” In Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
M. Maierova: Bio-bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ [Compiled by I. A. Shmel’kova.] Moscow, 1962.
Hájek, J. M. Majerová aneb román a doba. Prague, 1962.
Národní umělkyně M, Majerová: Seznam díla. Introduction by Fr. Burianek. Prague, 1958.