Šárka -- Indifferent, Inspired, or Amused?

Discussion in 'Culture' started by EinBlauerHai, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    I've been reading the German translation of Alois Jirásek's Old Bohemian Legends -- and my favorite story is definitely The Maidens' War :) Hoping to delve deeper into the legend, I found a few websites with commentaries.

    One of the articles I found (http://www.radio.cz/en/article/11889) compares Šárka to Robin Hood -- in that both of them have become cultural icons. But is Šárka's story really as popular in the Czech Republic as Robin Hood is in England? What, if any, relevance does the story have today?

    Another article I found (http://www.radio.cz/en/article/58711) says, "(the Maidens' War) always brings forward some laughter in Czech people. It casts a strange light on the legend of women's power as something that is a little bit ridiculous."

    Hmm ... is it true Czechs think this story comedic? Maybe the German translation is very untrue to the original text, but I don't see what's so funny about it :lol: It might describe an absurd series of events, but then don't most legends?
  2. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    My opinion:

    1.) This legend is not as popular as Robin Hood in England.

    2.) Cultural icon? Do not think so. There are much more popular and iconic legends in Jirásek's book than this one (O Čechovi (About Czech), O Krokovi a jeho dcerách (About Krok and his daughters), O Libuši (About Libuše), O Přemyslovi (About Přemysl)...)

    3.) Relevance today? Feminism?

    4.) Comedic? No.

    Conclusion - it is just a legend people do not care about :), however there are other legends considered to be part of czech history. We know it is just legends, but still - more like King Arthur in England.
  3. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

  4. BlackBox

    BlackBox Active Member

    You have to realize that Jirasek is not the only version of this legend (to be honest I hate this particular version and the fact it is so popular with the Czechs). In Cosmas chronicle this story is a minor diversion (reflecting certain customs of old Slavs) which got progressively more bloody in subsequent renditions. So as it is it has obviously no historical basis, unlike some other stories from Jirasek.

    I don't see how you can see this legend as anything else than comedic. :?
    These loonies who talk about matriarchy and patriarchy amuse me to no end. They increase the comedic factor hundredfold.
  5. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    I presume the story was a little more popular during the National Revival :lol: I've noticed there are a lot of Czech women named Šárka. Has this been a common name through the centuries -- or has it become popular recently in light of the legend? My mother and her two sisters, for example, were named after some of the Walküren in Wagner's Ring Cycle :?

    I've been looking for an English or German translation of Cosmas' Chronicle -- but I haven't found one yet.

    Well, history conspires against those who see strict matriarchies in the past :p But some Indoeuropean tribes did hold women in high esteem -- and Germanics, for example, were apparently matrilineal at one point.
  6. BlackBox

    BlackBox Active Member

    I don't think it was a common name, it is quite possibly as you say, but there is a photogenic part of prague called Divoka Sarka where this story apparently was supposed to took place.

    Cosmas chronicle can be found online in czech:
    According to that webpage the German translation can probably be found in:
    Bertold Bretholz: Die Chronik der Böhmen des Cosmas von Prag. Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH), nova series II, Berlin 1923.

    If you don't find it in a library, you better practice some Czech.
    I am not sure what you mean by matrilinear, but in any case relations between men nad women were always a lot more complex than some people would like to believe.
  7. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, this is only a German book about the Chronicle of Cosmas. There is the text of the chronicle, but only in its original Latin version. The book is accessible on-line.

    The Latin manuscripts are also accessible (see “Codex mixtus (Codex Gigas)” and “Budyšínský rukopis Kosmovy Kroniky Čechů” on the website of the National Library of the Czech Republic.

    As for the German version, I found that the only version is this one.
  8. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    I'm working on it -- but I suspect it'll take years for my Czech to become good enough :lol:

    Matrilineal decent means that decent, tribal affiliation, and inheritances are traced through your maternal bloodline. In Tacitus' Germania, it's written:

    "Children are holden in the same estimation with their mother's brother, as with their father. Some hold this tie of blood to be most inviolable and binding, and in receiving of hostages, such pledges are most considered and claimed, as they who at once possess affections the most unalienable, and the most diffuse interest in their family. To every man, however, his own children are heirs and successors: wills they make none: for want of children his next akin inherits; his own brothers, those of his father, or those of his mother."

    This suggests, during Tacitus' time, the Germanic tribes were slowly transitioning from a matrilineal system to the more familiar patrilineal model.

    Thanks, wer! That looks like a good deal :) I was fortunately able to find an online version of Dalimil's Chronicle (in what's apparently a Middle High German translation):

    http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Index:Dal ... %C3%B6hmen
  9. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    The very same Hanka’s translation is on Google Books. You can even download it as a pdf file.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

  11. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    The story is covered by Alois Jirásek's Old Bohemian Legends, thus EinBlauerHai knows it already. :wink:
  12. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Oh. I didn't know that. Thanks for letting me know.
  13. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    Thanks again -- it's much more convenient reading it that way :)

    As wer pointed out, I know that one already -- but thanks nonetheless!
  14. EinBlauerHai

    EinBlauerHai Active Member

    Someone's making a movie about the story of Libuše. Vlasta's going to be in it, so maybe Šárka will put in an appearance :)


    This looks like a straight-to-video affair -- but it should be interesting :lol:
  15. Buru

    Buru New Member

    "The old czech legends" (Old Bohemian Legends) by Alois Jirásek

    I want to find english translation of this novel. ebook is good for me.
    Can you help me?

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