Josef Kainar

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kainar, Josef


Born June 29, 1917, in Přerov; died Nov. 16, 1971, in Dobřiš. Czech poet.

The son of a railroad worker, Kainar studied in the faculty of philosophy at the University of Prague from 1937 to 1939. From 1969 he headed the Preparatory Committee of the Czechoslovak Writers’ Union. In the verses from the time of World War II (1939–45), which were published in the collections Incidents and Miniatures (1940), New Myths (1946), and Fates (1947), Kainar expressed a tragic attitude that came from the years of German occupation and from the absurdity of bourgeois relations. In the postwar period Kainar participated actively in socialist reorganization. The verses contained in the collections Great Love (1950), The Czech Dream (1953), I Love Man With a Bitter Love (1959), and Lazarus and the Song (1960) reveal the poetry of everyday working life while exposing philistinism and platitude. Kainar is the author of witty feuilletons written in verse, songs, and topical songs: the collections My Blues (1966) and The Latest News (1971). He also wrote plays such as Ubu Returns, or The Scars Will Not Remain (1949) and The Late Nasredin (1959). Moreover, he wrote verses and tales for children. He translated the works of V. V. Mayakovsky and R. M. Rilke. Kainar received the K. Gottwald State Prize in 1953.


Hájek, J. [“J. Kainar.”] In his book Osudy a cíle. Prague, 1961. Pages 94–107.
Opelík, J. [“J. Kainar.”] In his book Jak čístpoesie. Prague, 1963. Pages148–65.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jan Kucera, Jan Ryant Drizal, Jiri Gemrot, Sylvie Bodorove: A Bohemian Pilgrim, Cantata for narrator, baritone, children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra to a libretto by Vojtech Stritesky and poems by Frantisek Hrubin, Jiri Orten, Josef Vaclav Sladek, Josef Kainar, Karel Hlavacek, Josef Hora and Jaroslav Seifert (world premiere on the centenary of the declaration of the republic).
Milan Krizek: Ritorni for flute, violin and viola, Edvard Schiffauer: The Cricket for vocal quartet to Josef Kainar's text, Ivan Zelenka: Elegy and Rondo for flute and guitar, Josef Vejvoda: Animus Vox, Eliska Cilkova: Invocation--premieres.