The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History

In The Winter s Tale, Shakespeare gave the landlocked country of Bohemia a coastline a famous and, to Czechs, typical example of foreigners ignorance of the Czech homeland Although the lands that were once the Kingdom of Bohemia lie at the heart of Europe, Czechs are usually encountered only in the margins of other people s stories In The Coasts of Bohemia, Derek SayerIn The Winter s Tale, Shakespeare gave the landlocked country of Bohemia a coastline a famous and, to Czechs, typical example of foreigners ignorance of the Czech homeland Although the lands that were once the Kingdom of Bohemia lie at the heart of Europe, Czechs are usually encountered only in the margins of other people s stories In The Coasts of Bohemia, Derek Sayer reverses this perspective He presents a comprehensive and long needed history of the Czech people that is also a remarkably original history of modern Europe, told from its uneasy center.Sayer shows that Bohemia has long been a theater of European conflict It has been a cradle of Protestantism and a bulwark of the Counter Reformation an Austrian imperial province and a proudly Slavic national state the most easterly democracy in Europe and a westerly outlier of the Soviet bloc The complexities of its location have given rise to profound and often profoundly comic reflections on the modern condition Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Hasek, Karel Capek and Milan Kundera are all products of its spirit of place Sayer describes how Bohemia s ambiguities and contradictions are those of Europe itself, and he considers the ironies of viewing Europe, the West, and modernity from the vantage point of a country that has been too often ignored.The Coasts of Bohemia draws on an enormous array of literary, musical, visual, and documentary sources ranging from banknotes to statues, museum displays to school textbooks, funeral orations to operatic stage sets, murals in subway stations to censors indexes of banned books It brings us into intimate contact with the ever changing details of daily life the street names and facades of buildings, the heroes figured on postage stamps that have created and recreated a sense of what it is to be Czech Sayer s sustained concern with questions of identity, memory, and power place the book at the heart of contemporary intellectual debate It is an extraordinary story, beautifully told.
The Coasts of Bohemia A Czech History In The Winter s Tale Shakespeare gave the landlocked country of Bohemia a coastline a famous and to Czechs typical example of foreigners ignorance of the Czech homeland Although the lands that were

  • Title: The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History
  • Author: Derek Sayer
  • ISBN: 9780691050522
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History”

    1. pretty fun cultural history of the czech republic! dude, one ime i went to prague for like 2 days, and it changed my life. europe is so different, especially, like the east or whatever. no i can relive it all by reading about smoe czech museums, how czech girls do more healthy the the layabout german ruling class girls so the slav naturally develops bigger t+a, and surrealism about penises. cool. also reminded me to pirate like every jiri trnka movie, thanks book.

    2. Although the title suggests that this is "a Czech History," it tells that history more in the development of the arts rather than actual history. You will get some "regular" history, but most developments are seen through the works of the artists, composers (whom I think are slighted - no discussion of the development of Dvorak's work, for example), writers, publications, etc.If you are looking for a basic history of the Czech Republic, don't read this. It is, however, a well-written, interestin [...]

    3. More than just a history of events and personages, The Coasts of Bohemia deals in some depth with Czech culture. The efforts on the part of the nationalists to build a cultural identity up to the first republic and its perversion under the KSC is described in exhaustive detail. A book to keep as a reference.

    4. I started this before I knew anything much about Czech history/lit/art, and found it hopeless. Then I read it after I'd lived there for a while and thought it was one of the most interesting books ever it turned me on to so many other cool things. Not for beginners in Czech history, I guess, but great after you've learned a little bit.

    5. If a book claims to be a history of a place, then it should at least give the reader decent coverage of the history of that place. But this book fails in that most basic requirement. The author is much more interested in discussing Alfons Mucha and how the Munich Agreement affected this relatively unknown artist than he is in discussing how Czechoslovakia ended up the victim of Hitler. But that fairly well reflects the book as it is more a history of various Czech authors and artists than it is [...]

    6. Of course Bohemia doesn't have a coastline despite Shakespeare's assertion of one – but it once did. Sayers' slightly Prague centred cultural history of Bohemia and the Czech lands is rich, elegant, and revealing. I visit the Czech Republic regularly, for work and holidays, and continue to stumble over things that I first read about in this book, and it brings them to life. A big rigorous book.

    7. I really enjoyed the history information, but it delved a little too deeply, for my taste, into details about artistic styles and movements. I absorbed a lot about the politics of the last four or five hundred years around those narratives, but I would have preferred a little less on the artists. I certainly would not have read as far as I did, if I hadn't have been going to Prague this fall.

    8. This is an amazing book telling not only the history of the Czech people but also of their culture and the battles it had to survive Austro-Hungarian, Nazi, and Communist oppression. The book gives one a hugely improved insight into Czech painting and drama, as well as the conflicts with their German, Slovak, and Jewish inhabitants and neighbors. A fascinating read.

    9. As someone searching for a good background on Czech history, this book seems to have little to do with the country's history at all. I"m really disappointed.

    10. Dry as dust history of Czech lands until mid 20th century as determined through street name changes, political documents, sentiment due to the author's identification with his Czech

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