Program

Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies , Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research in East European Studies

Project

Men without qualities: the Capek generation, 1908-1938

Project

Men without Qualities: Karel Capek and His Generation, 1911-1938

Department

History

Men without qualities: the Capek generation, 1908-1938

Men without Qualities: Karel Capek and His Generation, 1911-1938

Through the study of the “Čapek generation,” a loose group of modernist writers and artists coalescing around Karel Čapek, the leading playwright and novelist of interwar Czechoslovakia, this project seeks to revise long-held notions of cultural life in Habsburg Central Europe and to chart the development of a significant but little-known pragmatic/relativist response to the cultural crisis of early twentieth-century Europe. Tracing the origins of this path to the years before the First World War when the artists and writers of Čapek's cohort first came together around the cubist movement in art, it argues that it received its clearest articulation in the 1920s and ’30s when the conflicts that destroyed Austria-Hungary threatened to tear the new state of Czechoslovakia apart.