The Czech Polonophile Edvard Jelínek and the Topic of Russia in his Work
In scholarly circles, the name of the Czech writer and journalist Edvard Jelínek is usually associated with interest in Polish topics. Most of his friends and scholarly contacts were Polish, which also was in line with his numerous publications concerning Polish cultural traditions. However, Jelínek also had significant knowledge of the cultural, political, and social life in other Slavic areas, which he utilized as the editor of «Slovanský sborník» (Slavic Proceedings), a journal focused on all Slavic areas (published in 1881, 1883–1887). In this article, we demonstrate that, mostly at the beginning of Jelínek’s career, Russian topics also appeared in his texts, mainly Russian literature, culture, theater, and the issue of the beginning of Russian-Czech contacts. He published these texts primarily after his first visit to Russia in 1877. In the 1870s, the retired Russian officer Nikolaj M. Yendogurov had a significant influence on him, helping him to understand some Slavic issues and to perfect his knowledge of Russian. Starting from the 1890s, he expressed his opinions regarding the Russian-Polish conflict in several texts. There, he disagreed with the Russification of the Polish cultural environment and drew attention to the language rights of the Polish people. However, his works were not anti-Russian in character, and he expressed appreciation for Russian culture. The issue of Russian-Polish relations also appears in his literary prose works, e.g. in the novel «Motýlek z Norské pohádky» (The Butterfly from the Norwegian Fairytale).
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