Grabal's Gypsies (the Outline of the Issue)
Observation of a disproportion between a significant presence of Roma issues in the literary output of Bohumil Hrabal and the lack of these issues in studies devoted to the work of the Czech author, was a direct reason for writing this text. Yet the social problem of the Roma minority in Central Europe is still open and far from a satisfactory solution for both sides: the community overwhelming the Roma's and, perhaps more important, the Romanies themselves. Therefore, it appears to be fully justified to look at this problem through the eyes of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. It is, however, difficult, except two instances, to extract texts in which the topics which interest us dominate. Male and female Gypsies, as already mentioned, appear in all his works and all the literary genres realized by him: in longer and shorter narrative forms, in journalism and in lyric poetry. They are described from individual and social point of view and are, to a degree, immersed in an element of fiction inspired by the author's fascination with "total or socialistic" realism, French surrealism or Czech neo-poetics. But one seems to be constant - Hrabal's Gypsies are always seen in the light of autobiographism and autothematism. This thesis can be treated as one of the conclusions, even if it may at first appear to be only based on intuition of the authors of this paper.(original abstract)
- Monika Zgustová, Bohumil Hrabal, trans. Zofia Tarajło-Lipowska, Wrocław 2000, p. 82.
- Slovník Bohumila Hrabala, Prague 2009, p. 600.
- T. Mazal, Spisovatel Bohumil Hrabal, Prague 2006, p. 391.