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Vítězslav Nezval


Vítězslav Nezval was born in Biskoupky in 1900. His father was a school teacher but was also a musician who studied under Leoš Janáček. Nezval learned to play the piano and compose music while at school, though soon turned to writing. He was called up to the Austrian army in1918 but was sent home when he took ill. After the war he studied philosophy at the Charles University but did not finish his degree.

He joined the avant-garde Devětsil group in 1922, consisting of writers and artists and inspired by what was going on in France. Many of the group had strong left-wing views and were inspired by Lenin. Nezval was involved in Poetism, an avant-garde Czech poetry movement. He travelled to France where he met André Breton and other Surrealists. He helped found theThe Surrealist Group of Czechoslovakia in 1924. After World War II, he was very active in the Communist Party , receiving a number of official honours and positions. As well as poetry and prose, he also wrote plays. He was a keen student of astrology and predicted his own death. He left an incomplete astrology textbook after his death.

Though never married he had a son with Olga Jungová. He died in 1958. His collected work amounted to 38 volumes.

Other links

Vítězslav Nezval
Vítězslav Nezval
Vítězslav Nezval
East of Eden: Vítězslav Nezval and Czech Surrealism
Singing in the Rain with Vítězslav Nezval
The Unimaginable Muse: On Translating Vítězslav Nezval
Vítězslav Nezval
Vítězslav Nezval (in Czech)


1922 Most (poetry)
1924 Pantomima (poetry)
1924 Papoušek na Motocyklu (Parrot on a Motorcycle) (poetry)
1926 Menší růžová zahrada (poetry)
1926 Abeceda (Alphabet (poetry))
1927 Akrobat (poetry)
1927Blíženci (poetry)
1927Edison (poetry)
1929 Kronika z konce tisíciletí (novel)
1930 Básně noci (poetry)
1931 Dolce far niente (prose)
1931 Sexuální nocturno (story)
1932 Pět prst (poetry)
1932 Skleněný havelok (poetry)
1932 Pan Marat (novel)
1933 Zpáteční lístek (poetry)
1934 Sbohem a šáteček (poetry)
1935 Neviditelná Moskva (prose)
1936 Ulice Git-le-Coeur (prose)
1936 Žena v množném čísle (Woman in the Plural) (poetry/prose/drama)
1936 Praha s prsty deště (Prague with Fingers of Rain) (poetry)
1936 Anička Skřítek a slaměný Hubert (children’s)
1937 Absolutní hrobař (The Absolute Gravedigger) (poetry)
1938 Pražský chodec (prose)
1940 Pět minut za městem (poetry)
1945 Valérie a týden divů (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) (novel)
1950 Stalin (poetry)
1950 Zpěv míru (Song of Peace) (poetry)
1951 Z domoviny (poetry)
1952 Antonín Slavíček : výběr menších prací (Antonín Slavíček, A Great Czech Painter) (art)
1956 Dnes ještě zapadá slunce nad Atlantidou (Sunset over Atlantis) (drama)
1971 Vitězslau Nezval (selection of his poetry)
2001 Antilyrik & Other Poems
2010 Farewell and a Handkerchief : Poems from the Road (poetry selection)