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VHL Notebooks 2011/1: Vladimír Vokolek – Anecdotal Anonymous Nation

February 20, 2011


Poems on Communist Putsch written 1948–1950

In all probability, this collection is the first immediate poetic reflection of the Communist Putsch and the consequent life in lies.

Vladimír Vokolek is usually considered to be a spiritual poet. However, his life and work happened “in seclusions,” rather than “in line.” Contrary to most others, spiritual poets perceived the coming of communist power as a national and ethical catastrophe (see Zahradníček’s Sign of Power). Even among them, Vladimír Vokolek was the only one who in his poems (February, Requiem for Jan Masaryk, Kaspar Hauser), with the original synoptic title Hic iacet, took inspiration directly from the February Putsch and subsequent liquidation of inconvenient persons – in particular Jan Masaryk and archbishop Josef Beran. Kaspar Hauser, the hero of a German legend, a man without a past or future, is here a metaphor of this impersonal presence of an “anecdotal anonymous nation.”

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