(pen name of Antonin Zeman). Born July 22, 1843, in the village of Stanov, near Jilemnice; died Oct. 9, 1931, in Prague. Czech writer.
Stašek graduated from the University of Kraków in 1866 and worked as a lawyer. He visited Russia in 1874–75,1889, and 1897 and propagandized Russian democratic culture in Bohemia. In his romantic poetry of the 1860’s and 1870’s, Stasek glorified those who struggled for the national liberation of Bohemia and fought in the Revolution of 1848. Later he turned to realistic prose, devoting several novels to the life and struggle of the Czech working people; these include In the Turbid Whirlpool (1900), At the Border (1908), and About Matous the Shoemaker and His Friends (1927; Russian translation, 1954).
In a three-volume collection of novellas and short novels, The Dreamers of Our Mountains (1895), Stasek depicted the grim life of the inhabitants of the Krkonose Hory region, who dream of happiness and justice. In a number of works of the 1920’s he depicted the terrible consequences of World War I. His book Reminiscences (1926) deals with political and literary life in Bohemia. Stasek strove to portray social development by combining realistic narration with elements of fantasy and romanticism.
WORKSVybrané spisy, vols. 1–10. Prague, 1955–64.
REFERENCESOcherki istorii cheshskoi literatury XIX-XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Polák, K. O Antalu Staskovi. Prague, 1951.
Déjiny ceskéliteratury, part 3. Prague, 1961.
L. S. KISHKIN