Svatopluk Cech

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Čech, Svatopluk


Born Feb. 21, 1846, in the village of Ostředek, near Benešov; died Feb. 23, 1908, in Prague. Czech writer.

Čech graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Prague in 1869. From 1878 to 1899 he was an editor of the progressive journal Květy. He began writing in the 1860’s. In his verse anthologies Morning Songs (1887) and New Songs (1888) and the narrative poems The Songs of a Slave (1894) and The Mowers (1903), Čech criticized bourgeois society and praised the struggle of working people against oppression, expressing faith in their victory. His prose works include the satirical novella A New Amazing Excursion of Mr. Brouček, This Time Into the 15th Century (1888; Russian translation, 1953), in which Čech ridiculed the philistinism and unscrupulousness of the Czech bourgeoisie and glorified the heroic Hussite past. In the narrative poem The Steppe (1908) he hailed the Russian Revolution of 1905–07.

Čech’s works reveal romantic tendencies but are essentially realistic. They influenced the development of Czech democratic and revolutionary poetry.


Sebrané spisy, vols. 1–30. Prague, 1899–1910.
Výbor z díla. Prague, 1950.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. Moscow, 1954.


Kishkin, L. S. Svatopluk Chekh. Moscow, 1959.
Shmel’kova, I. A. Svatopluk Chekh: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1959.
Dějiny cěské literatury, vol. 3. Prague, 1961. Pages 277–93.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mikulas Koska, Jan Musil, Jakub Horejsi, David Minar, horns; Jindrich Pavlis, clarinet; Petr Valasek, Voltech Nydl, bass clarinet; Ondrej Roskovec, bassoon; Dalibor Kalvey, Martina Bacova, David Pokorny, Vladimir Klansky, violins; Karel Untermuller, Vladimir Kroupa, violas; Hana Baborakova, Vit Petrasek, cello; David Pavelka, bass; Svatopluk Cech, cajon and cowbell; Petr Holub, snare drum, tam tam, cymbal; Petr Ostrouchov, timpani, bass drum; Jana Bouskova, harp.
The works bear witness to the composer's different creative inspirations - from the social motif of the symphonic poem The Fiddler's Child, based on Svatopluk Cech's verse, through Janacek's Russophilia in the setting of Gogol's novella Taras Bulba, the musical expression of the Czech legend of the knights of Blanik, based on Jaroslav Vrchlicky's poetry, to the famous Sin fonietta, in whose case, as the Janacek connoisseur Jir Zahradka points out in the booklet, it is still not clear whether it was written to commission or independently as a contribution to the National Festival of the Sokol sports and gymnastics movement.
They are based on novels by Svatopluk Cech which had great success towards the end of the 19th century.