Hakl a Viewegh: jak se vyrovnat s banalitou zivota [Hakl and Viewegh: how to come to terms with the banality of life]

Culik, J. (2007) Hakl a Viewegh: jak se vyrovnat s banalitou zivota [Hakl and Viewegh: how to come to terms with the banality of life]. Ceska Literatura, 55(5), pp. 669-706.

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Abstract

The article analyses the literary output of two contemporary Czech authors, the "outsider" Emil Hakl (b.1958) and the "commercial celebrity" Michal Viewegh (b. 1962). It comes to the conclusion that both these writers present a similar account of the social and cultural mores within the current Czech society. Although the society is now free from political oppression, its protagonists still feel alienated and frustrated. Hakl deals with the traumas of contemporary life in Czech society by tackling its grotesque features in experiemental and provokative texts, inspired by Bohumil Hrabal and Charles Bukowski. Michal Viewegh publishes highly successful "commercial novels", dealing mostly with erotic relationships. At the same time Viewegh plays provocative games with literary construction in his texts. Both authors testify about life in a mechanised world, from which both of them escape into male sexual fantasies. Both of them examine reality by means of erotic adventures; later in life, when affected by the trauma of aging, they examine the relationships with their parents as sources of their personal identity. Both authors are painfully aware of infantile cruelty, which dominates the world in which they live – Hakl punctuates his texts with images of brutality, Viewegh is horrified by the cruelty of the popular press. Jan Čulík argues that the work of both these authors can provide a valuable sociological testimony about Czech post-communist reality, and at the same time can be read as a statement about the general human condition.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Culik, Dr Jan
Authors: Culik, J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PG Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages and literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Slavonic Studies
Journal Name:Ceska Literatura
ISSN:0009-0468

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