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Additional resources for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911–1938
4 Josef Chochol, apartment house on Neklan Street, Prague (1913– 1914). Courtesy of Národní Technické Muzeum (NTM, MAS, AAS Sbírka negativů [Josef Chochol]). 5 Pavel Janák, box with lid (1911). Creamware, ivory glaze, black painted lines. Courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. 6 Josef Gočár, desk and chair (1915). Polished ash, leather, glass, brass. Courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, collection of Dr. Deyl. imaginative new design tradition. In the years after the war, a style derivative of prewar cubism, rondo-cubism, became something like the national architectural style.
Gluck writes that for the fathers of Lukács’s generation Hungarian nationalism had opened up vistas of personal liberation and had made possible the transition from the confinements of the ghetto into a larger, secular European culture. 24 The political sign of this change was the defeat in 1914 of the liberal and socially progressive Bourgeois Radical Party under Oszkár Jászi with which the members of Lukács’s Sunday Circle shared considerable sympathies. ”25 In this view, the turn inward among Hungarian intellectuals thus has less to do with narrowing the gap with Vienna than with the foreclosure of possibilities that previously had been available.
Prague versus Vienna and Budapest What, then, was the particularity of this experience? The distinctiveness of life in Prague at the beginning of the twentieth century becomes most vivid when contrasted to the cities with which it otherwise shared the most in common, Vienna and Budapest. It is necessary, therefore, to consider briefly some of the defining features of intellectual and artistic life in these locales. Only by understanding the way in which their social and national circumstances shaped their cultural aspirations is it possible to appreciate that which is unique to Prague.
Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911–1938 by Thomas Ort (auth.)