Fric, Josef Václav

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Frič, Josef Václav

 

Born Sept. 5, 1829, in Prague; died there Oct. 14, 1890. Czech writer, journalist, and revolutionary.

Frič studied at the faculty of law of Charles University. During the Revolution of 1848–49, he was a leader of the radical-democratic camp; he took part in the Prague Uprising of 1848. In 1849 he was arrested by the Austrian authorities and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment; he was pardoned in 1854. Frič published the literary and political miscellany Lada Nióla in Prague in 1855. He was arrested again in 1858 and exiled the following year. From 1859 to 1879 he lived as an émigré in London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome; while abroad, he became friends with A. I. Herzen and met I. S. Turgenev. He published a number of uncensored journals abroad, including Čech and Blaník; in them he urged the Czech people to struggle against the Austrian monarchy. Frič’s journalistic and political work was dedicated to the creation of an independent Czech state that would be a democratic republic.

Frič was a founder of Czech civic lyric poetry. His verse of the 1850’s, as typified in the collection Songs From a Fortress, protested against autocratic oppression and glorified the revolutionary struggle of the Czech people in 1848. In a number of poems he extolled the heroism of the Hussites. His memoirs (vols. 1–4, 1886–87) are a rich source of material on the social and political life of Bohemia in the second half of the 19th century. His prose contributed to the formation of the realist school in Czech literature. Frič translated European, including Russian, classics.

WORKS

Paměti, vols. 1–3. Prague, 1957–63.
J. V. Frič básník a revolucionář: Výborz díla. Prague, 1953.
In Russian translation:
[”Stikhotvoreniia.”] In Antologiia cheshskoi poezii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX–XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Dějiny české literatury, vol. 3. Prague, 1961.

L. S. KISHKIN