Issue No. 3, Vol 99 (2012)



Dance in the literary work of Božena Němcová: fi ction or facts?
Even a cursory reading of the fi ction work of Božena Němcová reveals frequent mentions of dance. The scenes often take place during dancing. The dancing assumes the role of the image in which the important moments of the plot structure are integrated. The patterns of behavior emerge during the dance that turn into testimonies of collectively shared reality. Therefore, the question arises on the sense of these refl ections of the dance. Can they serve as a source of information on the dance practices of the time dance, or are they only a product of a literary fi ction? This also provokes considerations as for the motivations for depicting the folk dance tradition and what else it reveals about the mutual relations in a given socio-cultural millieu. The article will consider if the dance situation can be considered as a literary device and if the description of the manifestations of folk dance culture could be understood as responding to the contemporaneous interest in traditional village culture as embodiement of positive values, as it refl ected in the works of the so called village realists of the second half of the nineteenth century.
„Slovak Images“ of Božena Němcová
The paper deals with the activities of the writer Božena Němcová in Slovakia in the years 1851–1855. She visited Slovakia four times in this period (three times she visited her husband who worked here in civil service, her last stay was intended as a cure, while most of the time Němcová devoted to ethnographical research). All her stays resulted in contributions based on active observation, ethnographic and folkloristic research, consultations with a number of Slovak intellectuals dealing with both humanities and natural sciences. The results of the individual stays differ both in form and quality. They proceed from journalistic „causerie“ towards serious attempts of monographic elaboration of natural background, history, demography, sociological, ethnographical and gender facts of a given region. The contribution to folkloristic is outstanding. The writer used Slovak inspirations also in her fi ction. Thanks to her activities, Božena Němcová belongs to the history of Slovak ethnology.
Božena Němcová´s Tales and Legends – The Adaptation of Folk Stories
The article focuses on the analysis of collections of fairy tales and legends of the Czech revivalist Božena Němcová, especially those in the Czech language. The specifi c clusters of tales are being analyzed one by one, as for the frequency of textual emendations made by B. Němcová. The most modifi ed were the magical tales, less modifi ed the anecdotic and humoristic ones, only slight changes were applied to animal, legendary and cumulative tales. All the changes correspond to the „mythological school“ of her time, but unlike Erben Němcová did not sought for the mythological origins of the texts, but rather aimed at expanding hem and adapting them in accord with the conviction of the Czech National Movement on the crucial importance of the popular culture.
A liberal mother Božena Němcová?
The preserved correspondence of Božena Němcová can be used as a source for an analysis of her attitude to her children. The letters enable us to refl ect if these attitudes diverged from the conventions of the time, to what degree her personal experiences refl ected in her raising of the children and what priorities she envisioned for them. The principles Němcová quoted can be to a certain degree seen as representing a clash of only slowly changing social norms (i.e. the notion of the patriarchal family with father-provider) and the rapidly changing social and economic reality. Němcová herself was forced to submit to the economic situation of her family and through her own income tried to improve its situation. As for the raising of the children, she mostly advocated traditional views. However, we can consider modern her conviction of the importance of fi rst-rate education, without regard to gender. As for the future professions of her children, she viewed this question in a practical way, considering the possibilities for professional fulfi lment and salary. There is a marked difference in the approach of Němcová to her sons and to her only daughter, infl uenced of course by the fact of their greater or shorter distance from home, but also probably by certain traditional and gender-stereotypical thinking. The educational style of Němcová should not be considered liberal, as she most often reminded her children of their duties, moral principles, obedience, respect and responsibility.
Passions of Ferdinand Pravoslav Fingerhut Náprstek. Culture and cuisine of the Czech patriotic society of the second half of the nineteenth century as seen through Náprstek’s diary
Among the admirers of Božena Němcová belonged also the Prague brewer Ferdinand Fingerhut. In the correspondence of Božena Němcová he was almast always alluded to in connection with eating, drinking or theatre. As reveals his diary from the years 1886–1887, food, drinks and theater played very importent role in his life. The preserved diary is, fi rst and foremost, a cokery book that reveals the everyday life of the bourgeois household and its dietary regimen in the second half of the nineteenth century. Besides, for Ferdinand Fingerhut and his daughter Božena were very important the home musical-declamation entertainmants that they organized in their household. Music and recitations were performed in presence of such personalities as Antonín Dvořák, Karel Bendl, Helena Röslerová or Otýlie Sklenářová Malá. The diary thus also renders possible the study of the cultural activities of this important patron of the Czech theatre.
Social songbooks as a cultural phenomenon of the Czech National Revival
As a basis of this article served the catalogue of Czech social songbooks that the author made use of in the form of computer database for the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. On the basis of the recent analysis of these songbooks and with regard to results of previous researches, at fi rst the origin and development of the Czech social singing in the fi rst half of the nineteenth century is explained, including the charakteristics of central personalities (A. J. Puchmajer, J. J. Ryba, V. J. Tomášek, V. Hanka, F. M. Kníže, A. Jelen, J. K. Chmelenský, F. Škroup, F. L. Čelakovský, F. J. Vacek Kamenický, J. K. Tyl, V. J. Picek and K. Havlíček Borovský) and publications (among others, Věnec ze zpěvů vlastenských [Garland of Patriotic Songs], 1835–1839, 1843–1844). In the second part the period of one hundred years of the phenomenon of Czech social songboks is reviewed (1848–1948); accentuated is, in especial, the foundational importance of Společenský zpěvník český [Czech Social Songbook] of J. B. Pichl (1851), realized with later musical cooperation of J. L. Zvonař (1863).



Virginia Smithová, Dějiny čistoty a osobní hygieny. Academia, Praha 2011, 460 s.