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Žena v Erbenově Kytici

Barbara Storchová
Česká literatura
Vol. 50, No. 1 (2002), pp. 31-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42686730
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.
Žena v Erbenově Kytici
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Abstract

The present article seeks to analyze the role of woman in Erben's Kytice. The anthology comprises stories primarily about women; in fact, male characters are either entirely absent (as in „Poklad" [Treasure]) or they play only a passive role (as in „Polednice" [Noonday Witch]), or, where they do take part in the action, the chief conflict stems from the behaviour of a woman (as in „Holoubek“ [Little Dove]). Woman as such first appears in a cultural context - according to the etymology of the word žena [woman], Jung’s psychoanalytical conception of woman, as well as mythological and biological meanings; she is chiefly mother, life-giver, but also represents something secret, mysterious, obscure and awe-inspiring. The principies of fertility and destruction indicate something more general - namely, the contrast of life and death. In Kytice, woman is full of contradictions and is ambiguous: she is sinful and murderous, yet also life-saving, loving and maternal. Motherhood in Kytice is the principle that overarches all forms of woman, including all her wrongdoings and mistakes; it is the principle that justifies her behaviour but also makes it unforgivable. Because woman renews life, she seems to have the ability also to pass on mistakes and guilt, which is particularly vital in a mother’s relationship with her daughter, the continuator of woman’s lot in life. In the effort to preserve humankind, in responsibility for ensuring that the cycle of birth and death remains uninterrupted, one can justifiably perceive a guarantee of continuity and order.

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