Friday, September 2, 2016

Czech Literature- samizdat

Samizdat is an interesting term that is used to describe books or magazines that were published against the Communist regime in all of the countries that the Communists controlled. Most of the samizdat works were in Russia, but there were also many in Czechoslovakia. Samizdat writers were the most rebellious people in Czechoslovakia because they risked their lives to write articles and other literature to oppose the Communist regime. They had to go to great extremes to distribute and reproduce their works in order to avoid the Communist censorship. Milan Kundera was one of these such writers, to an extent. He was forced into self-exile and moved to France in order to continue his writings. It is sad that some of the best minds of Czechoslovakia were forced to flee from the country. Like in other countries under Communism, some of these bright authors and scientists fled to America and helped advance technology and literature in America. Therefore, Czechoslovakia suffered in ways other than only physically by losing important people who stood up for their beliefs.

2 comments:

Brooke Williamson said...

I like Joseph's point here. While hearing other group's presentations this week, I recall thinking how unfortunate it was that so many writers were forced to either reform their writing style/topic or completely change it altogether. I really respected those writers who challenged the Communist oppressors & still wrote even under these conditions. I really enjoyed Joseph's group elaborating on samizdat and the writers who were extremely effective in rebelling against the norm of Communist glorification in their writing. I do feel like being forced to flee the country was an unfortunate alternative to having freedom of speech. I believe many authors sought to have more rights so several of them fled to the US.

Julia Scofield said...

Not only were authors important, so were filmmakers. While films that oppose the communism regime do not have a specific name, they are equally as important. As Brooke taught us, many of the same risks applied to filmmakers. But, instead of stopping production altogether, the directors and writers simply made their opposition more subtle. I appreciated being able to learn about these subtleties this week. Many examples of opposition could easily have been condemned by the communist regime, but because they were so cleverly shrouded by other details, the regime was unable to do anything about it.