Nemzova’s “Grandmother” and Czech Realism Literature

Božina Nemzova was born in Vienna, the daughter of a manor coachman and maid. Her father worked for the Duchess at the Zoharska Castle in Lachbosce, so Nemzova was also lucky to spend her carefree childhood in the manor of Rachbosce, which is in Objectively, it gave Nemzova a direct understanding of the dual life dimensions of the upper and lower layers in the same time and space. Nemzova came to Hwakowice by chance when she was 10 years old, and lived with the local administrator Augustin’s family. For a child from the countryside, this is really a wonderful period Through experience, future female writers came into contact with real literature here, and the voracious reading made Nemzova gradually have a deeper understanding of words.
   At the age of 17, Nemzova married Joseph Nemets, a customs tax officer who was 15 years older than her. In fact, Nemets was a Czech nationalist. He often published articles under the pseudonym Boshvoi. Expressing his own ideas made Nie Metz’s superiors feel very uncomfortable, so he was often transferred, and his family also “displaced” with him. However, whether it is Nemzova’s extant letters or her many works, we have never read between the lines the complaints caused by this, but more wonderful presentations of the unique customs of the Czech countryside. We may use this as a basis to make a bold guess. Nemzova’s husband’s views and attitudes have a subtle influence on her, and the multiple relocations have allowed the female writer to get in touch with people from all walks of life and gain a deep understanding of the lives of urban and rural people. The objective elements are all in the lives of female writers, injecting bits and pieces of national consciousness into their gradually mature self-consciousness system. The gradual formation of national consciousness and the gradual deepening of social understanding made the literary works of female writers gradually have a tendency towards realism, until they became the representative of the vanguard of Czech realist literature, just like the famous Czech literary critic Julius Vladimir in the 20th century. Cheek called him “the pioneer of modern Czech prose” [1].
   1. Definition of “Grandmother”
   Nemzova traveled north and south with her husband throughout her life, which gave her the opportunity to get to know all social classes and absorb rich creative materials. It also gave her the opportunity to deeply understand and experience the Czech rural life and feel the simple folk customs of the Czech people. During her residence in Prague from 1842 to 1845, she actively participated in patriotic activities and had frequent contacts with patriotic cultural groups, which strengthened her determination to fight for the cause of national liberation[2]. After the failure of the revolution in 1848, as the defender and spokesperson of Czech national rights, the interests of the people, and the rights of working women, Nemzova participated in the national liberation struggle more heroically on the one hand, and on the other hand published many “accusations and shouts” work. The national renaissance movement and the national liberation struggle further inspired Nemzova’s strong national consciousness, deep patriotism and desire for national independence. She criticized and protested the ugliness of society in her literary works, and tried to change them through words. At the same time, the experience of rural life enriched her creative content. In her works, she vividly described the Czech rural scene, described touching Czech folklore, stories and songs, and portrayed the noble image of the Czech rural working people. Fragments with strong national imprints have gained ample display space between the lines of the female writer’s novel “Grandmother”. The attitude of caring for everything in the world, and at the same time, these bits and pieces have also become the fountain of literary thinking in the female writer’s literary creation.
   In the process of writing, Nemzova paid attention to describing objective facts, observing life and studying society, showing the new outlook of vast national life and the situation of urban poor and rural areas. In her works, she truly depicts the Czech countryside, the real country life and the shining humanity attached to the life of the Czech people. As a result, “Grandmother” is considered a shining pearl in the history of Czech literature, and has won the praise of Chinese and foreign writers. Czech writer Jalemila Grazarova described “Grandmother” as “the cornerstone of our new literature”, and believed that it symbolized the Czech people’s unswerving love for the country and the nation. Wu Qi, the Chinese translator of the work, called it a treasure of Czech literature, a bright light for the Czech people in the long dark age of national disaster, and gave the Czech people hope and strength[3].
   2. “Grandmother” and Czech realism
   1. Creation background
   Since the 18th and 19th centuries, the degree of Germanization in Czech society has gradually deepened, and the Czech people have been oppressed politically and culturally. From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century, with the rise of capitalism, the Czech nation launched a national revival movement for independence. In the 1840s and 1850s, the Czech national revival movement set off a climax in the fields of economy, politics, and culture. In contrast to the heat wave of national rejuvenation, it was the second half of the female writer Nemzova’s miserable and difficult life. In 1853, her eldest son Hynek died of tuberculosis at the age of 15. In the same year, her husband Nemets was dismissed from office. The whole family soon ran into financial difficulties, and endless bickering began. At the same time, because Nemzova actively participated in the national liberation struggle, it was bound to be viciously attacked by reactionary forces. The impoverished situation, the hopelessness of marriage, and the pain of losing a child are all eroding the female writer’s spiritual world little by little, forcing her to return to the safest childhood memories in her heart to seek spiritual warmth. The memory of years has thus become a hot spring of the spiritual world.
   “Grandmother” is Nemzova’s late work, which was first published in 1855. On the one hand, the novel is the author’s remembrance and commemoration of her grandmother, and at the same time, it is also a recollection of the author’s life in the Ladi Božice Valley in his youth. The book takes the grandmother’s daily activities as the main line, and uses the conversations between different people and the grandmother as the main form. It tells ordinary and special stories one after another, and tells the rural life, folk customs, and legends in a smooth and smooth rhythm. soothing. The text contains a lot of dialect expressions, proverbs and obsolete words, but at the same time, many spoken elements are used in the work, which makes the text come alive. For modern readers, they are also relatively easy to understand, so that readers can truly experience the fun and joy of the ordinary rural life of bohemians in the 19th century.
   2. “Grandmother” and the Czech people
   The prototype of the character “grandmother” in the novel comes from Nemzova’s grandmother, Marie Novotna, who has endured hardships and homelessness all her life; but Nemzova’s portrayal of characters is not limited to this. The “grandmother” described by her is kind and wise, sincerely and enthusiastically treats every neighbor who lives together in the old bleaching field (the residence of the grandmother’s daughter, Mrs. Brosikova). She is a respected elder in the village, and everyone is happy to talk to her: she is everyone’s listener, keeps everyone’s secrets, and gives thoughtful suggestions when everyone faces difficulties. Whether it is the grandmother’s grandchildren, hunters, blacksmiths, or even the duchess, they all admire their grandmother.

   In the seventh chapter of the novel, it is written that the grandmother’s husband, Yi Rui, died on the battlefield of the Polish People’s Uprising in 1794. Despite the great grief, the grandmother still insisted on taking her three children home and returning to the Czech Republic that she dreamed of. on the land of the motherland. After the death of her husband, with the help of her husband’s comrades-in-arms, she took her children to live in the city of Nice in southwestern Poland for a period of time, but everyone here speaks German, and the grandmother who lost her husband often feels like a pear tree in the field. Lonely, lonely [4]. Her desire to go home and her persistence in the native language became the driving force for her to trek back to the Czech countryside. Despite all kinds of difficulties and dangers, hunger and exhaustion along the way, she finally returned to the hometown she longed for. The tragic fate of her grandmother did not make her lose hope in life. On the contrary, she was the most positive and optimistic person in the village. Grandma is as busy as a bee every day, doing farm work and housework, and making delicious food for the children on traditional festivals according to customs. She told the children about ancient Czech legends, taught them the names of Czech mountains and rivers, and insisted on children’s Czech education. This all shows her love for life, for the people, and for the Czech nation.
   My grandmother originally lived in a small mountain village on the border of Silesia, and lived in a small wooden house with her friend Beranka. Life here is very comfortable, the people are simple and warm, and the neighbors help each other. One day, my grandmother received a letter from her daughter, Mrs. Brosikova, who was working as a keykeeper in the castle and could not devote herself fully to the education of her dear children. She therefore begged her elderly mother to move to the old bleaching ground in the Lachbosce Valley (the residence that the Duchess had lent to Mrs. Prosikova’s family) and live out her old age with her grandchildren. The grandmother was reluctant to leave her small wooden house and good friends in the small mountain village, but couldn’t restrain her desire to see her children and grandchildren, and finally decided to move into a new house in the Lachbosce Valley. Grandma quickly won the hearts of her grandchildren and lived in harmony with her neighbors. The old hunter, the wisecracking miller and his wife, Christina, the innkeeper’s daughter, and the noble duchess and her adopted daughter, Miss Hortense, all liked to sit in the old bleaching yard when they passed by. For a while, listen to grandma’s sincere conversation full of wisdom. Sometimes grandma takes her grandchildren to go for a walk in nature, telling them all kinds of interesting and educational stories, telling them about Czech customs and knowledge of nature[5].
   It can be seen that the image of “grandmother” is essentially a representative of the Czech working people, and the noble character and wisdom of the grandmother are also the concentrated expression of the excellent qualities of the Czech working people: hardworking and brave, simple and sincere, strong and unyielding, and always full of enthusiasm for life. With hope and enthusiasm. They love their motherland and hometown, and insist on their beautiful language and folk customs passed down from generation to generation. This is not only Nemzova’s loving and touching sketch of her grandmother, but also her exquisite statue of the Czech nation. The author praises her grandmother twice through the mouth of the Duchess: “This woman is really happy!” The Czech nation gained independence at an early date in order to continue this simple happiness.
   3. “Grandmother” and national characteristics
   If “Grandmother” is just a portrait of a beautiful character, it may not become a well-known Czech masterpiece and achieve such a high literary achievement. In addition to telling the story of my grandmother’s life, the book depicts the world around her and what this landscape, this life meant to her and to the Czech people in the village. The novel outlines an idyllic “picture of rural life in the Czech Republic”, making it a vivid portrait of the nation and culture while successfully shaping the amiable image of the grandmother. The novel begins when the grandmother moves to her daughter’s house to spend her old age. Except for the sixth chapter, the story of Wiktorka, the rest of the chapters introduce the simple and friendly relationship among the working people through the daily activities of the grandmother, playing the flute. The changes in the beauty of the four seasons in the Borice Valley, folk customs and traditional festivals. It shows many beautiful natural scenes: the flourishing flowers and trees in the village, the trickle flowing through the village and finally into the Elbe River, how people pick all kinds of fruits, berries and mushrooms and regard them as gifts of nature . The novel not only records the different traditions that change with the seasons: Christmas, Easter, Lent, and harvest, but also the seasons of life: childhood, youth, marriage, and old age in the village. Through these rich and delicate descriptions, the author makes readers feel personally on the scene, and deeply feel all aspects of life of Czech rural people in the 19th century.
   In addition to the fact that the grandmother is well-informed, the author embeds slang and proverbs in the text to describe Czech rural folk customs, traditional festivals, and national beliefs in the narrative process of the protagonist. Numerous vibrant and lifelike scenes of Czech rural life. Especially in the sixth chapter of the novel, through the mouth of a hunter, it tells the love tragedy of Vick Durka. Her originally peaceful life was destroyed by soldiers, and she became crazy. Through the tragic fate of Wiktorka, the author made a powerful complaint against the unreasonable social system at that time. Compared with other chapters that are straightforwardly narrated on grandma’s daily life, this chapter is the one with the most ups and downs in the novel. It reminds people of the same poignant and eerie novel written by the Czech writer Erben at the same time. Czech fairy tales, which are also the unique aesthetics of Czech literature and art. At the same time, through the dialogue between her grandmother and the children, Nemzova also recorded many ancient Czech legends, such as St. Wenceslas, Branite Mountain and so on. However, unlike Elben, the author of “The Bouquet Collection”, Nemzova did not seek the mythical origin of the text, but aimed to make it the root and belief of the Czech national movement to enrich and transform them[6]. By creating a kind, gentle, tolerant and noble character like her grandmother, Nemzova expounds the national pride of the Czech people and their deep love for the land under their feet, the nation and the people. This novel has developed Czech realism literature to a new level in terms of character creation, work language and theme, and laid a solid foundation for the creation of modern Czech prose and novels.
   The overall appearance of early Czech literature is considered to be the legacy of Maja’s romantic literature, and Czech literature in the 19th century was in the transitional stage from romanticism to realism. This kind of shaking is essentially a constant attempt to express the connotation of literature, so, like “Grandmother”, an ethnography that not only has the characteristics of folk carnival but also directly describes the reality Literature has undoubtedly become the brightest banner of Czech realism literature.
   Unlike European realism, which observes the whole society, Czech realist literature mainly focuses on a state, a small town, a village and other relatively onlooker worlds, such as Nemzova’s works, which tend to show Czech villages The scenery, local conditions and customs, and the way of life of the villagers contain not only idealized parts, but also romantic elements. The days in the Lachbosce Valley were dull yet lively. Year after year, the grandchildren grew up one by one and flew out of the eaves like little swallows. Grandma always encouraged them from the bottom of her heart. And when they came back to her, she was even more gratified to see these young people struggling for their beautiful ideals. After this, the bourgeoisie rose day by day, pragmatism spread widely in the Czech Republic, and the failure of the 1848 Revolution dampened the Romantics’ hopes for a better life. So far, Czech literature has begun to absorb nutrients from other places, try to base itself on social reality, and make unremitting efforts on the road of pursuing literary reform.

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