Review of Josef Škvorecký’s novel “Cowards”, 1959
The Central Press Supervision Authority Collection contains materials documenting the prohibition of the novel “The Cowards” by the Czech writer Josef Škvorecký. The novel, written in 1948-1949, depicts the last days of the Second World War in the city of Náchod (‘Kostelec’ in the book) from the perspective of Škvorecký’s literary alter ego Danny Smiřický. The novel was first published in 1958 by the Czechoslovak Writer publishing house and met with much criticism. Škvorecký was accused of ideological muddledness, anti-humanism and cynicism. His depiction of the Soviet Army was also criticized. In addition to a report prepared by the Central Press Supervision Authority for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, copies of some of Škvorecký’s older texts that were unknown to literary historians, as well as records from meetings between the employees of the Československý spisovatel publishing house, Josef Škvorecký and the leadership of the censorship office, are also part of this collection.
Na Struze 3, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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Year of creation
- Security Services Archive (ABS)
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
- Šámal, Petr
"Preliminary inventory of the Collection 318 Hlavní správa tiskového dohledu (Central Press Supervision Authority)." https://www.abscr.cz/data/pdf/abs/inventar-318.pdf. Accessed October 28, 2017.
Dokoupil, Blahoslav a kol. 1994. Slovník české prózy 1945–1994. Ostrava: Sfinga.
ÚČL AV ČR. 2013. "Slovník české literatury po roce 1945: Josef Škvorecký." Last modified January 5. http://www.slovnikceskeliteratury.cz/showContent.jsp?docId=439.