Born Mar. 29, 1900, in the town of Prostejov; died there Jan. 3, 1924. Czech poet. Member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1921.
Wolker studied in the law department at the University of Prague but did not graduate. (He died of tuberculosis.) While at the university he was involved in revolutionary circles and became acquainted with Marxism. His first collection of poems A Guest on the Threshold (1921) reflected his dream of a new world and universal harmony. The publication of Wolker’s collection of poems Hour of Birth (1922) was a major literary event. Its principal themes were the tragic position of the worker in a bourgeois society and a call for the revolutionary transformation of the world. Wolker’s ballads are emotionally taut stories about the tragic fates of workers. He was also the author of lyric poems and tales that are socially ethical in content. An important role was played by Wolker’s articles, including “Proletarian Art” and “Defenders of Creative Freedom,” in forming the aesthetics of socialist realism in Czechoslovakia.
WORKSSpisy, vols. 1-4. Prague, 1953-54.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Chas rozhden’ia. Moscow, 1961.
REFERENCESOcherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Sherlaimova, S. A. Irzhi Vol’ker i novye puti cheshskoi poezii XX veka. Moscow, 1965.
Píša, A. M., J. Mukařovsky, B. Tomčik, and V. Závada. Jiří Wolker příklad naší poesie. Prague, 1954.
Blazíček, P. “Jiří Wolker.” Česká literatura, 1963, no. 6.
Nikolskij, S. V. Myslenka a obraz ve Wolkrově poezii z let 1920-1921. Prague, 1968.
S. V. NIKOL’SKII