Bozena Nemcoba

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Viktor, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Recently a friend sent me a volume of "Babicka", by Bozena Nemcoba (written in Czech) to help me better understand Czech culture and expand my vocabulary. The reading is quite interesting --but slow, since I've 47 years of English and only 6 years of Czech!

    However, the reading/writting sounds familiar -- Like I've read it before. Is it possible, that Bozena Nemcoba and Grandma Moses is/are the "one & same" person/author? In the US elementary school students are made beleive, that Grandma Moses was of American/English heartige!

    Hence, I like to know if the writting of Grandma Moses is indeed plagiarism of Bozena Nemcoba?... or is it just a coincidence that both authors wrote so much alike on the same subject ?...

    Thanks, Viktor

    PS. I've tried asking my friend, she is a transpalanted Russian --living in CZ the last 25 years -- She informed me that "actually", Bozena Nemcoba is originally from Russia ( according to her, even the Wright brothers have their roots in Russia )!? :cry:
  2. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Bozena Nemcoba might be originally from Russia, but Božena Němcová, born on 4 February 1820 in Vienna as Barbora Novotná, died on 21 January 1862 in Prague, was one of the most influential Czech writers of the National Revival movement. While the date of this great Czech writer's death is certain, the date of her birth was a mystery all her life.
    According to the textbooks, encyclopedias and her tombstone, Němcová was born on February 4, 1820 and her parents were Marie Magdalena Teresie Novotná, a laundress for the Duchess of Ratiboř, Kateřina Zaháňská, and Johann Baptist Pankl, a coachman there. Barunka (short for Barbora - she changed it to Božena for her books) was born before these two were married, as an illegitimate child. The mystery remains, whose illegitimate child Barunka was, as this question also rases the fact that she was not at all similar to either of her parents. Her mother, now Terezie Panklová, was said to be strong, not pretty, and by nature the exact opposite of the smiling, extroverted Barunka. She was strict, taciturn, acted like a lady, and apparently did not like Barunka very much. Her attitude towards her daughter appeared to those around her more like a step-mother's than a mother's. Her father, Jan Pankl, was said to be a good-hearted, hard-working, frugal, well-liked, stocky, blue-eyed blonde, who Božena might have taken after in personality, although the only physical resemblance was the blue eyes. The nobility of her appearance supported the quietly circulated rumor that she could be the illegitimate daughter of the lady of the Zaháňská house, as a number of Barunka's physical characteristics resembled the Duchess'. As the Duchess Kateřina Vilemína Zaháňská was a daughter of Petr Biron, the last Duke of Kuronia (in today´s Latvia), the origin of Božena Němcová might be distantly connected with Latvia, but definitely not with Russia.

    Božena Němcová was, however, apparently born two or three years (1817 or 1818) before the official date of her birth. School documents from Česká Skalice repeatedly give her date of birth as 1817, possibly 1818, and Němcová herself made it clear several times in her memories and correspondence that she considered herself older by two or more often three years.

    Grandma Moses (September 7, 1860 - December 13, 1961), whose real name was Anna Mary Robertson, was a renowned American folk and naive (primitive) artist.
    Robertson was born in Greenville, New York. She spent most of her life as a farmer's wife and the mother of five children. Her husband was Thomas Salmon Moses, whom she married in 1887.
    She began painting in her seventies after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis.

    I did not read any book written by Grandma Moses, and so far I thought she was painting only, but I am sure that she and Božena Němcová are not the one and same person.

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