Mácha, Karel Hynek

Mácha, Karel Hynek

(kä`rel hē`nĕk mä`khä), 1810–36, Czech romantic poet. After studying law at the Univ. of Prague he became a civil servant. He published a number of promising poems and wrote Pictures from My Life, introspective autobiographical sketches. This work was followed by Gypsies (1835–36), a novel. His long iambic poem May (1836, tr. 1932) is considered the finest lyric work in the Czech language; Czech iambic verse dates from this work. Mácha's profoundly melancholy and nostalgic verse reveals his strong response to nature, medievalism, and Czech civilization as well as his fatalistic philosophy.

Mácha, Karel Hynek


Born Nov. 16, 1810, in Prague; died Nov. 6, 1836, in Litomefice. Czech poet.

Mácha came from a poor urban family. He graduated from the law department of the University of Prague in 1836. He was close to the Czech liberation movement and to the developing radical-democratic ideology. In his philosophical and intimately lyrical poetry, in the poem Mdj (1836), in the novellas Křivokldt (1834) and The Gypsies (1835), and in the diary sketches From My Life (1834), Macha wrote as a representative of Czech revolutionary romanticism. His poetry is the expression of a rebellious yearning for freedom, of philosophical riddles of spirit and matter, and of the contrast between the harmony of nature and the disharmony in human relations. Macha’s works are very subjective and lyrical. His poems are melodic and resonant.


Spisy, vols. 1-3. Prague, 1959-72.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Preface by V. Martem’ianova. Moscow, 1960.


Nikol’skii, S. V. K. G. Makha. In Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vekov. Moscow, 1963.
Dejiny ceské literatury, 2nd ed. Prague, 1960. (With bibliography.)