A CRADLE FOR CHARLES. CHARLES’S EXHIBITION – THE HUNDRED AND FOURTH EXHIBITION (AND COUNTING) OR ELSE CHARLES IV REIMAGINED IN MODERN CZECH LITERATURE
A touring version of the exhibition was arranged by the Museum of Czech Literature in 2016 to mark the 700th anniversary of Charles IV’s birth. The exhibition traces a picture of the Monarch and its transformations in literature from a traditional image in the Baroque; over the early National Revival, Romanticism, the 2nd half of the 19th century; to the late 20th century. Having been presented a big challenge, the exhibition authors and curators, PhDr. Miloš Sládek, PhD; and Mgr. Daniel Rejman took a vastly different angle on aspects of the side of Charles’s personality from that stereotypically occurring in large exhibitions or other social events last year. Let us take these brief excerpts to serve as an example:
‘The pathos in the context of the person Charles IV especially in the 19th century and the early 20th century had been so all-and-always-pervading, for that reason absolutely unreal at one and the same time, that most of the Czech prose writers of those days either sought to completely avoid “Charles”, or else gave him a brief mention in their pieces. Radical change did not happen until “The Karlštejn Vigils” by František Kubka published in 1944. Through a few ahistorical features, the author created a new Charles-like type: a human being that has a great deal of weaknesses, who enjoys the life he has nearly lost. Kubka subconsciously projects some features of his sick father into recovering Charles. First view suggests that Kubka drew his inspiration from Renaissance novelist cycles with frame composition (Boccaccio, Markéta Navarrská), however, the piece also tells stories borrowed from Charles’s life or medieval “exempla”’; and ‘Jiří Šotola depicts rather provocatively the character of Charles IV in the drama “Cesta Karla IV. do Francie a zpět“ (1978)(Charles IV on the Journey to France and Back) to be an old man losing the sense of life, who has been drawn by social convection and duties to somewhere he does not want to be. The dehumanised world of desire for power and the effort to outfox others, the same like all emperors’, peculiarly reflects the author’s personal experience with the political power of the early 1970s.’
The exhibition is available in a print data form for 15 B1-sized bilingual Czech-English posters. The exhibition organizer will arrange for the print within their scope (Kapa-Plast, self-sticking foil or paper); for framing; there is an option of adding book prints from the organizer’s fonds (the exhibition includes commentaries on modern editions from the 1930s to 1970s provided by exhibition authors).