Samizdat Past & Present

Samizdat Past & Present
ISBN: 978-80-246-4033-4
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Tomáš Glanc

Samizdat Past & Present

Much of what we now consider the canon of twentieth-century Czech literature—the work of authors like Bohumil Hrabal, Ludvík Vaculík, and Jáchym Topol, among many others—has, in fact, just recently become widely available to readers. Long published only in censored form or in secret among political dissidents, this body of underground literature is collectively known as samizdat. Samizdat Past and Present provides an expert introduction to these writings and their history, offering insight into both the current wave of literary rediscovery and translation and contemporary debates over censorship. In a diverse array of chapters, Tomáš Glanc gathers together texts from representative figures of Czech samizdat and underground culture of the 1960s to ’80s and provides a useful comparison of Czech, Polish, and Russian samizdat. From literary historians to former samizdat publishers and writers with firsthand experience of communist censorship, secret police, fake trials, and imprisonment, the authors of Samizdat Past and Present illuminate the complexities of a literature written under censorship and the struggle for freedom of thought in a totalitarian regime.


Long live samizdat - Editorial note
The semiotics of samizdat
Two notes on samizdat
Question marks over unpublished literature
The forgotten question mark over "unpublished" literature
Censorship and literary life beyond the mass media
Independent literature and freedom of thought 1970-1989
Samizdat literature in Czechoslovakia during the 1970s and 1980s
How underground authors and publishers financed their samizdats
The group of writers around the Půlnoc series (1949-1955): a specific example of underground cultural activities
Sixty-Eight Publishers in contact with domestic samizdat and competition in exile
Parallel circulation as a consequence of censorship
Post-Guttenberg revolution? On the Polish "second circulation" and Czech samizdat
Samizdat as a medium


Ústav pro českou literaturu AV Karolinum, Prague 2019, 246 pages, 140 x 205 mm, ISBN 978-80-246-4033-4