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Od Snědeného krámu ke Kondelíkovi: (Pokus o portrét Ignáta Herrmanna)

Dagmar Mocná
Česká literatura
Vol. 47, No. 1 (1999), pp. 20-42
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42686480
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Od Snědeného krámu ke Kondelíkovi: (Pokus o portrét Ignáta Herrmanna)
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Abstract

This article is concerned with the oscillation in the prose fiction of Ignát Herrmann between genuine belles lettres and less demanding, popular literature. From the time Herrmann had started seriously to write, it was with an eye to the ordinary reader. But he went beyond this, particulary during the first ten years of his literary work. In the best passages of his novel U snědeného krámu (The picked-clean shop) Herrmann has worked his way to a thoroughly modern form of expression. In its other features, however, this novel remained in the tradition of literature that was accessible to a wider reading public, as can be seen from the conception of the narrator and the tendency towards extensive detailed and realistic description. Herrmann later devoted all his energies to writing popular literature. The novel that met with the most success in this respect is Otec Kondelík a ženich Vejvara, which developed out of his original, sketchy, humorous stories of the 1880s, becoming a carefully wrought, idyllic chronicle, in which Herrmann made full use of his now finely honed story-telling skills. Gone was the original, gently mocking aloofness from the characters he had been depicting along with the insignificant events of their lives (which made these stories similar to Svatopluk Čech’s about pan Brouček). It was replaced with a loving distance. The definitive version of Otec Kondelík is a celebration of family solidarity, kindness in interpersonal relations, and the ‘ordinary life'. Herrmann had thus become the founder of the a genre, namely the idyllic family chronicle which joins humour and kindness.

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