Podkoní, žák a smrt. Rozpory a vícehlasy v české poezii 15. století

Martin Šorm

How to understand the Old Czech poem Podkoní a žák (Groom and Student)? What are the characteristics and historical dynamics of the extant corpus of Old Czech verse literary dialogues or disputes? The monograph Groom, Student and Death proposes an interpretation of 14th- and 15th-century dialogical poems from the perspective of medieval reception (codex context and printed publications) and literary-historical anthropology. It presents an analysis of all the attested texts in their possible interrelationships, material contexts and probable historical functions and effects. In addition to the figure of the “dispute”, it operates with the metaphor of “polyphony” to express the regard of these dialogues for the search for unity, completion and a transcendental voice that may not always be provided in the texts themselves. To explore the possibilities of research of historical reception, the author advocates the use of the category of genre in medieval literature. For each of the texts the monograph thoroughly presents the literary-historical tradition of its interpretations and conceptualizations. It analyses what values and periodizing connotations (and from what perspectives) literary and historical scholarship has so far assigned to these texts. In contrast to previous research, the emphasis here is on mapping continuity rather than highlighting change. The interpretation concentrates on phenomena that demonstrate overlapping significant tendencies at least between the 14th and 16th centuries.

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