Stanislav Kostka Neumann
Neumann, Stanislav Kostka
Born June 5, 1875, in Prague; died there June 28, 1947. Czech poet. National artist of Czechoslovakia (1945).
Neumann wrote his first poetry in prison, where he was sent in 1893 for taking part in the Czech organization of students and working youth, Omladina (Youth). In the 1890’s he joined the symbolists and in 1896 published the collection I Am an Apostle of the New Life. By the early 1900’s he had become associated with the anarchocommunist wing of the workers’ movement. In his collection A Dream About a Crowd of Desperate People, and Other Verses (1903), Neumann praised the struggle of the popular masses. The collection Czech Songs (1910) dealt with the fight for national liberation.
In 1914, Neumann published the collection of landscape and philosophical lyric poetry The Book of Forests, Hills, and Waters. On the eve of World War I he turned to urbanist themes, making use of modernist trends in poetry, for example, his collection New Songs (1918). Neumann was drafted into the army. He described his impressions of military life in the collection Thirty Songs of Times of Ruin (1918).
Influenced by the Great October Socialist Revolution, Neumann became a Marxist. He helped found the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. In his editorial and publicistic activities, Neumann was a theorist and passionate propagandist of proletarian art. His collection Red Songs (1923), which reflected the revolutionary enthusiasm in Czechoslovakia, hatred of the bourgeois state, and love for Soviet Russia, became one of the first works of socialist realism in Czech poetry. The collection Love (1933) contained intimate lyric poetry.
Neumann’s poetry was characterized by a strong civic spirit. He was active in the antifascist movement of the 1930’s and 1940’s, for example, his collections Heart and Clouds (1935), Sonata of Earthly Horizons (1937), Bottomless Year (1945), and Plague-ridden Years (1946). Neumann wrote the novel Gold Cloud (1932), popular science monographs, publicistic and journalistic works, and memoirs.
WORKSSebrané spisy, vols. 1–22. Prague, 1947–56.
Spisy. vols. 1–6, 9. Prague, 1962–71.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1953.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1958.
REFERENCESSherlaimova, S. A. St. K. Neiman. Moscow, 1959.
Taufer, J. St. K. Neumann. Prague, 1956.
Lang, J. St. K. Neumann. Prague, 1957.
Soupis dila St. K. Neumanna. Prague, 1959.
S. A. SHERLAIMOVA