Némcová, Božena

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Némcová, Božena

(bô`zhĕnä nĕm`tsôvä), 1820–62, Czech novelist and storyteller. Némcová developed the regional tale, which she enhanced with an original prose style. Her work provided escape from a wretchedly poor and unhappy life. Her best-known novel is Babička (1855, tr. The Grandmother, 1891), a simple, moving portrait of Czech village life. Her other major works include Mountain Village (1856). She also published a collection of Slovak folk tales.

Němcová, Božena

 

(née Barbora Panklová). Born Feb. 4, 1820, in Vienna; died Jan. 21, 1862, in Prague. Czech writer.

Němcová finished primary school and continued her education on her own. She welcomed the revolutionary events of 1848 and, with her husband, J. Němec, tried to explain the events to the people in the countryside. She also wrote for the progressive press. She was the victim of official repression on more than one occasion.

Němcová’s first published works were the patriotic poem To the Czech Women (1843) and the book Folk Fairy Tales and Legends (parts 1–7, 1845–47; Russian translation, 1898). She gained recognition as a realistic prose writer with short stories and novellas about common people written in the 1850’s. Most notable are Baruška, Wild Bára, In and Near the Castle, and her most popular work, the novella The Grandmother (1855; Russian translation, 1866).

Němcová collected Slovak fairy tales and published them in Czech translation (Slovak Fairy Tales, 1857–58). In 1863, N. S. Leskov published the first article about Němcová to appear in the Russian press, as well as a translation of her fairy tale About the Twelve Months.

WORKS

Spisy, vols. 1–15. Prague, 1950–61.
In Russian translation:
Babushka. Moscow, 1956.
Skazki, povesti, rasskazy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
V zamke i okolo zamka. Leningrad, 1970.

REFERENCES

Karskaia, T. S. “B. Nemtsova.” In Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Fučik, J. “Boriushchaiasia Bozhena Nemtsova,” In his Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1955.
Nejedly, Z. “Bozhena Nemtsova.” In his Stat’i ob iskusstve. Leningrad-Moscow, 1960.
Otruba, M. Božena Němcová, 2nd ed. Prague, 1964.
Tille, V. Božena Němcová, 9th ed. Prague, 1969.
Laiske, M. Bibliografie Boieny Němcové. Prague, 1962.

T. S. KARSKAIA