Born Jan. 17, 1885; died Mar. 28, 1945, in Terezín. Czech writer; son of a village teacher.
Kratochvíl was taken prisoner on the Russian front during World War I (1914–18); he joined the Czechoslovak Legion but within a short time became aware of the reactionary essence of its leadership. After returning to his homeland in 1920 he came out with an expose of the legion movement (the book of essays The Path of the Revolution) and collaborated on Communist publications. He was one of the founders of the Society for Economic and Cultural Rapprochement with the USSR. As a prose writer he was first published in 1924 with the cycle of short stories The Village. His epic novel The Sources (1924–33; incomplete), which depicts the complex shifts in the consciousness of the Czechoslovak legionnaires and in the life of Russia on the eve of revolution, is an important achievement of Czech socialist literature. Kratochvil was the author of the antifascist reportage Barcelona-Valencia-Madrid (1937). During World War II (1939–45) he participated in the Resistance Movement. He perished in a fascist concentration camp.
WORKSPrameny, vols. 1–2. Prague, 1956.
Nebyl jsem pouhým divákem. Prague, 1966.
Vesnice. Prague, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Derevnia. [Foreword by N. Nikolaeva.] Moscow, 1961.
Istoki Moscow, 1969.
REFERENCESPinz, R. Cesta Jaroslava Kratochvíla. Prague, 1964.
Hrst vzpomínek a pohledů na Jaroslava Kratochvila. Prague, 1965.
A. P. SOLOV’EVA