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Erben compiled and wrote A Bouquet based on his studies of Slavic folktales and folk songs. First published in 1853, it is dotted with murder and mayhem : graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations reminiscent of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Written as ballads, Marcel Erben compiled and wrote A Bouquet based on his studies of Slavic folktales and folk songs. First published in 1853, it is dotted with murder and mayhem : graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations reminiscent of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Written as ballads, Marcela Sulak's new translation perfectly captures the cadence and rhythm in an English that is fresh and energetic. Through the years A Bouquet has come to be regarded as a masterpiece and wellspring of inspiration to artists of all stripes, including Antonín Dvořák, who composed a series of symphonic poems to some of these tales. Of the many illustrators who have contributed to the various editions that have appeared over the past century and a half, Alén Diviš's artwork is generally considered the most powerful. This edition also includes Erben's own notes explaining the origins of many of these tales.


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Erben compiled and wrote A Bouquet based on his studies of Slavic folktales and folk songs. First published in 1853, it is dotted with murder and mayhem : graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations reminiscent of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Written as ballads, Marcel Erben compiled and wrote A Bouquet based on his studies of Slavic folktales and folk songs. First published in 1853, it is dotted with murder and mayhem : graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations reminiscent of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Written as ballads, Marcela Sulak's new translation perfectly captures the cadence and rhythm in an English that is fresh and energetic. Through the years A Bouquet has come to be regarded as a masterpiece and wellspring of inspiration to artists of all stripes, including Antonín Dvořák, who composed a series of symphonic poems to some of these tales. Of the many illustrators who have contributed to the various editions that have appeared over the past century and a half, Alén Diviš's artwork is generally considered the most powerful. This edition also includes Erben's own notes explaining the origins of many of these tales.

30 review for A Bouquet of Czech Folktales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Milja

    I did read this book in Czech, however i will write the review in english;) I am not that huge fan of (our) Slavic literature, no matter which region it comes from. However, this is my number 1 book when it comes to both Czech and Slavic literature. I think that Erben did an amazing job in presenting the Czech folklore and legends in that pure, real and original form yet shaped so that it can be timeless. And kudos for in delivering them in their original, scary and even bizarre light. I absolutel I did read this book in Czech, however i will write the review in english;) I am not that huge fan of (our) Slavic literature, no matter which region it comes from. However, this is my number 1 book when it comes to both Czech and Slavic literature. I think that Erben did an amazing job in presenting the Czech folklore and legends in that pure, real and original form yet shaped so that it can be timeless. And kudos for in delivering them in their original, scary and even bizarre light. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Toland

    I came across Kytice after reading an interview in which it was recommended by author Helen Oyeyemi, and I am thankful for her for bringing attention to this lovely little book. Kytice, usually translated into English as Bouquet but meaning something closer to A Handful of Wild-flowers, is a collection of Czech folk-tales written in rhyming verse. The format is a little difficult to get used to, but Kytice is an astonishing piece of work on behalf of both the author, Karel Erben, and perhaps even I came across Kytice after reading an interview in which it was recommended by author Helen Oyeyemi, and I am thankful for her for bringing attention to this lovely little book. Kytice, usually translated into English as Bouquet but meaning something closer to A Handful of Wild-flowers, is a collection of Czech folk-tales written in rhyming verse. The format is a little difficult to get used to, but Kytice is an astonishing piece of work on behalf of both the author, Karel Erben, and perhaps even more so, the translator, Susan Reynolds. To translate both the meaning and the form of such strictly rhyming folk-songs is an astonishing feat. I can't speak Czech, so cannot comment on how accurate the translation is, but it certainly captures the feeling of a true fairy tale. An authentic fairy tale, one neither too artificially sweetened or full of obnoxious modern psychological undertones, is difficult to describe but instantly recognisable. These tales are full of darkness and violence true, for what is a fairy tale without spilled blood? But there is always a powerful moral undercurrent running underneath, a system of punishment and reward often unpalatable to a modern audience. A woman carrying her baby comes across a fairy barrow on her way to church and finds it is full of heaps of gold and silver. She fills her apron with coins, and temporarily sets the child down in the barrow, intending to return to it once she has secured the treasure. Anyone with any familiarity with almost any fairy tradition from around the world can guess what happens next. Many of the poems could be described as horror. Witches, goblins and revenants abound, often clashing with the Christian church. The Virgin Mary here can be as capricious as any pagan goddess, but redemption is available for even monsters. Zahor's Bed, probably my favourite of the tales, features the various encounters between a priest and a flesh-eating forest spirit. However, the most awful danger in any tale is not any supernatural creature, but the all-too human capacity for self-destruction, and it is perhaps this detail that makes these poems ring so morally true. Dreamlike and nightmarish, horrible and beautiful, Kytice is a handful of wild-flowers we are lucky to have dried, preserved and stuck between pages for posterity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    Kytice, Kytice, where have you been all my life? Bouquet, or Kytice z pověstí národních, also known as just Kytice (Czech for "bouquet"), is a collection of ballads by the Czech author Karel Jaromír Erben. First published in the middle of XIX century, when Czech language was still pretty much an outcast in its own country, it became one of the most beloved and inspiring pieces of literature for the next generations. Which is sort of very cool and amazing, because the subject - folklore tales - wa Kytice, Kytice, where have you been all my life? Bouquet, or Kytice z pověstí národních, also known as just Kytice (Czech for "bouquet"), is a collection of ballads by the Czech author Karel Jaromír Erben. First published in the middle of XIX century, when Czech language was still pretty much an outcast in its own country, it became one of the most beloved and inspiring pieces of literature for the next generations. Which is sort of very cool and amazing, because the subject - folklore tales - was full of stories about ghosts, dead husbands, bloodthirsty supernatural creatures, doomed virgins etc... What's not to like? And it all inspired Antonín Dvořák to create music and many other artists to create art, cartoons and movies. My fav was definitely Svatební košile (The Wedding Shirts). And I found this on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryWdm... youtube and was simply enchanted. P.S. Yes, our national/international rock star poet Mickiewicz also created ballads about supernatural - and I loved them - but he didn't go as far as Vodnik's author.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Above the river Orlice I saw a church and heard its golden bell. It extinguished the rush of fierce passion first, then the ancient Czech sincerity. When Czech’s godly virtues – love, hope, and faith – turned musty and stale from disuse, the church hid itself in the depths of the earth, and water then flooded the place. (from “The Prophetess”) Initially published in 1853, Karel Jaromir Erben’s A Bouquet has never been out of print, and it has been adapted into musical, theatrical, cinematic and anima Above the river Orlice I saw a church and heard its golden bell. It extinguished the rush of fierce passion first, then the ancient Czech sincerity. When Czech’s godly virtues – love, hope, and faith – turned musty and stale from disuse, the church hid itself in the depths of the earth, and water then flooded the place. (from “The Prophetess”) Initially published in 1853, Karel Jaromir Erben’s A Bouquet has never been out of print, and it has been adapted into musical, theatrical, cinematic and animated works. There is probably not a more important book in the Czech language than this slim volume of thirteen lyrical works of folklore. At a time, when a National revival was coursing through Bohemia and Moravia (then parts of the Austria-Hungarian Empire), Erben’s project was to re-establish the Czech national character, and to that end he went out into the villages of Bohemia and gathered the stories that people – who had never ceased to think and dream and speak in Czech – had passed down through endless generations. The result was this bouquet of folktales, with the author’s annotations as to the origins of the tales and their connections to similar tales from other European cultures. And their path moves down the lowlands, across water, meadows, fens, and in the swamps and in the cane, Blue lights flicker off and on: they form two rows with nine in each, as when a body’s laid to rest. From the stream the frogs emerge, croaking out a funeral dirge. (from Wedding Shirts) The tales range from the very brief title piece, depicting in six verses the origin of the name for “thyme,” to longer pieces of 15-20 pages like “The Prophetess,” which is subtitled “fragments” and constitutes a mosaic of different prophetic tales relating to the fate of the Czech nation that Erben collected over many years. The piece was never finished, and it is the most complex in the book, with many references to ancient history that even with the aid of Erben’s notes make for difficult reading to the casual reader. Most of the other tales, on the other hand, are delightful and straightforward, told to explain phenomena of human life and nature. There are tales of water sprites luring young maidens into watery depths, deathly struggles with noon witches arriving to take noisy children away, and pilgrims travelling to hell and back. Other tales are cautionary, relating in grueling details the destinies that befall women (somehow always women), who are greedy, or envious, or who dishonor their husbands. ”Bury me in the green forest instead, Heather will bloom there around my head; birds will sing for me day and night, there will my heart rejoice and delight.” (from “Lily”) In the introduction to her translation of Karel Jaromir Erben’s A Bouquet, Marcela Sulak describes a few scenes from her experience of living in the Czech Republic, concluding that “… it is no exaggeration to say that the intimacy with the natural world and its forces, upon which these poems draw, is still very much in evidence.” Like Sulak, I too have experienced this “intimacy with the natural world” and the historical riches of the country that the local people here display. Visiting Czech people, it is not uncommon to go into the garden or nearby forest, and gather fruits, vegetables or mushrooms to be used in that day’s meals, just as it is commonplace to make a trip into the countryside to visit an old castle or church, or simply stroll amongst foothills and river streams. Travelling in the Scandinavian countries, I have had similar experiences in Iceland, Norway and Finland. Like the Czech people, these peoples have gained independence within the last 100-150 years (from Danish, Swedish and Russian rule, respectively). My conclusion is that in “younger” nations, where the privilege of speaking the tongue and telling the tales of your ancestors has not always been a given, the sense of cultural and natural heritage is valued higher. The illustrations that grace the pages of Erben’s book (and that I borrowed) were painted by Alén Divis in the late 1940s. According to the jacket copy, “[o]f the many illustrators who have contributed to the various editions that have appeared over the past century and a half, Alén Divis’s artwork is generally considered the most powerful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Macabre poetry. A breathless ride through gothic visions, like being taken by a skeletal hand and flown over 19th century Eastern European peasant landscapes. Excellent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Georgia Hejduková

    I think Jaromír Erbens view of the world and morality is valid, however I think it could have been done with lees brutality. Some of the poems are breathtaking but unfortunately few are way to hard to read, and therefore hard to enjoy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Anyone who finds Grimm's Fairy Tales to their liking will like this book. These poems/ballads are all quite grim, "dotted with murder and mayhem, graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations..." (dust jacket). I read the version translated by Marcela Sulak with artwork by Alen Divis. The physical book is beautiful. The artwork is dark and macabre, far from charming, and captures the na Anyone who finds Grimm's Fairy Tales to their liking will like this book. These poems/ballads are all quite grim, "dotted with murder and mayhem, graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations..." (dust jacket). I read the version translated by Marcela Sulak with artwork by Alen Divis. The physical book is beautiful. The artwork is dark and macabre, far from charming, and captures the nature of the poems perfectly. Sulak spent fifteen years "on and off" translating the poems, originally published in Czech in 1853, and claims that her translation, "is sensitive to Erben's prosodic and syntactic innovations that produced a living language filled with the musicality for which Czechs have long been known." The poems read beautifully and fluidly. Antonin Dvorak based four of his symphonic poems on four of the poems in this collection. I will never listen to Noon Witch the same way again!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    Review originally posted at Eve's Alexandria, October 2013. -- I recently read A Bouquet (1853), a collection of deliciously dark nineteenth-century Czech folktales, compiled by Karel Jaromír Erben (1811-70), and translated into English for the first time in 2012, by Marcela Malek Sulak. A copy was sent to me, very kindly, by marvellous Prague-based small publisher Twisted Spoon Press, who specialise in English translations of Central and Eastern European fiction. The book itself is a lovely object Review originally posted at Eve's Alexandria, October 2013. -- I recently read A Bouquet (1853), a collection of deliciously dark nineteenth-century Czech folktales, compiled by Karel Jaromír Erben (1811-70), and translated into English for the first time in 2012, by Marcela Malek Sulak. A copy was sent to me, very kindly, by marvellous Prague-based small publisher Twisted Spoon Press, who specialise in English translations of Central and Eastern European fiction. The book itself is a lovely object: a small hardback with high-quality paper, a ribbon bookmark in the spine, and the creepy illustrations created by Alén Diviš for a mid-20th-century Czech edition of the text: The translator's introduction is clear and accessible, setting the collection in context and discussing the use of language of the folktales - in particular, the importance of metre and rhyme, for these are songs as much as they are stories - and the issues involved in translating them (I'd have liked a couple of concrete examples comparing the original with the choices the translator made, but it's possible I'm alone in this...). Sulak explains that Erben produced A Bouquet as part of the 19th-century 'National Revival' movement, which sought to make Czech a literary language for the first time, in reaction to the long-standing political and cultural weight of German within the Hapsburg empire. The thirteen tales here comprise, Sulak says, "a literary depiction of the Czech national character". Without wanting to go too far down the road of what constitutes an 'authentic' folktale, or even whether 'authenticity' is a meaningful term to apply to the genre at all, it seems to me that Erben's tales - like many fairytale compilations of the same period from elsewhere in Europe - are perhaps best understood as poetic compositions embroidered upon the idea of a Czech 'folk' tradition, rather than a strict representation of it. They are an elaboration and imagining of what it might mean to be Czech, and to live in a Czech landscape - Sulak highlights "the intimacy with the natural world and its forces" present in many of the stories - that was created for the era of nationalisms. There are plenty of familiar motifs. The archetypal evil stepmother, for example, turns up in 'The Golden Spinning Wheel', in which a girl named Dora catches the fancy of a passing king, and is promptly murdered by her stepmother and stepsister, so that the stepsister can go to the rather abrupt wedding ceremony and marry said king in Dora's place. (Perhaps the moral of the story is that one shouldn't agree to marry a man who can't tell you and your stepsister apart?) The comeuppance for the scheming steps strongly recalls that of 'The Two Sisters': Dora's bones are made into a spinning wheel, and when the spinning wheel is used at the king's court, it sings the truth of what happened to poor Dora. (Loreena McKennitt's 'The Bonny Swans' was playing in my head throughout...) Another surrogate maternal figure, the mother-in-law, proves equally dangerous in 'Lily' (at least by implication, since in this one we aren't shown the death); "You poisoned the flower of my life", the woman's son says, returning from a military campaign to find his young wife dead. Spinning - as women's work, and as a demarcator of women's spaces - features in a number of the tales. 'Christmas Eve' has scenes of women spinning and talking bookends a story based around another familiar motif: looking into a body of water on a significant night of the year, in order to see one's future reflected there. The poor heroine of 'Wedding Shirts', meanwhile, faithfully spins and sews to be a good wife to her absent lover, only for him to return dead, tricksy, and determined to take her to the grave with him. This particular tale is a good one to demonstrate Erben's style, which builds tension through rhythm and repetition to considerable effect. A recurring pattern of questions and answers in the dialogue - the villain playing cat and mouse with his victim as he lures her to the place where he can spring his trap - is used both to underline the heroine's peril, and to heighten the sense of relief at her sudden insight and (in this case) escape. One night, the evil lover leads the heroine away from the sanctuary of her home, on the promise that they can finally marry. As they travel, faster and supernaturally faster, she asks him questions - about his house, his parents - and he always responds with an evasion, all the while gradually stripping her of everything she carries that might protect her from him: "Too many questions, doll, for me, just come quickly - you will see. Let's get going - time won't wait, our journey is a long one yet. But what's that in your right hand, dear?" "I'm carrying some books of prayer." "Throw them out, those kinds of books are heavier than piles of rocks! Throw them out and walk with ease if you want to keep up with me." Erben turns the screw beautifully - it's not unlike watching an unwitting horror film character walking blithely up the stairs in a needlessly darkened house - until the penny drops for our heroine, and she's able to use her final keepsake (a bundle of shirts she'd sewn for their wedding) to distract her undead lover long enough for her to turn the trap on him, and get away. There aren't many other cheerful, life-affirming endings. The title story comes closest, with its short, bittersweet image of a mother who, even after her death, feels such pity and love for her grieving children that she turns into a plant with a beautiful scent that they can carry with them always: She felt so sad for her son and daughter her soul crept back one night and took the form of a tiny flower which spread across her gravesite. But both 'Willow' and 'Water Sprite' tell of abusive husbands tormenting their wives; in the former, the petulant husband murders his wife for not paying enough attention to him, and in the latter the water sprite husband punishes his human wife for attempting to leave him by decapitating their child: Two things lay there in the blood - fear froze her where she stood - a baby's body with no head, a head without its body. In 'The Treasure', it's a mother's turn to cause her child harm, as she foolishly ventures down into a surprise!tunnel that appears one day in front of the local church. Again, the sing-song rhythms of Erben's poetry really help bring the story - and its ominous undertones - to life: Step by step, deeper and deeper, she's powerfully compelled to go, step by step, into the boulder, until she wakes a sleeping echo. Surprise!tunnel is, of course, one of those entrances to another plane that are constantly tempting the unwary in folktales, and the greedy woman duly falls for the trap, leaving behind her infant son - temporarily, she tells herself! - in order to haul away some of the shiny, shiny loot lying around. The tunnel, naturally, closes up and vanishes, the gold turns to clay, and the woman kicks herself for falling for that hoary old trick. After a year's wailing and repentance - Erben's rendition pays more attention to this aspect of the story than many fairytales do, with almost as many stanzas lavished on her maternal agony as on the atmospheric journey under the ground - she is rewarded with the reappearance of the tunnel, and after some strategic invocations of the Virgin Mary, the duly chastened woman is able to rescue her son.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anja

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy-tales. I flew through the whole thing in a day and look forward to re-reading them already. Fairy-tales from Europe especially tend to tell similar stories with slightly different settings or added details. Even in the Grimm’s Fairy-tales stories some times seem to be repeating themselves. With that said, I do feel like ’A Bouquet’ told the stories in a different light. Perhaps because it is told in poems, which added a nice touch to the fami I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy-tales. I flew through the whole thing in a day and look forward to re-reading them already. Fairy-tales from Europe especially tend to tell similar stories with slightly different settings or added details. Even in the Grimm’s Fairy-tales stories some times seem to be repeating themselves. With that said, I do feel like ’A Bouquet’ told the stories in a different light. Perhaps because it is told in poems, which added a nice touch to the familiar tropes of tales in threes. Some of the stories are dark and foreboding and the poems lent themselves nicely to that tone. I also enjoyed this style because the escalation in the stories is so fast. One line describes a walk in the forest and the next is a gruesome murder. I am sure that anyone can find enjoyment in reading this fine collection – And if you are in the mood, put on brilliant music from Antonín Dvořák’s Tone Poems, which is how I discovered these stories in the first place.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Veronika

    Czech must read classic! Loved it. So dark and full of gore

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zuzana

    Kytice pověstí národních (= A Bouquet of Folk Legends)is arguably the most popular collection of poetry written by a Czech author. Simply great. I re-read it every two years or so and there's always something new to find and admire about these timeless poems. Kytice (Bouquet) Poklad (Treasure) Svatební košile (The Wedding Shirts) Polednice (Lady midday) Zlatý kolovrat (The Golden Spinning-Wheel) Štědrý den (Christmas Eve) Holoubek (Little Dove) Záhořovo lože (Záhoř's Bed) Vodník (The Water-Goblin) Vrba (W Kytice pověstí národních (= A Bouquet of Folk Legends)is arguably the most popular collection of poetry written by a Czech author. Simply great. I re-read it every two years or so and there's always something new to find and admire about these timeless poems. Kytice (Bouquet) Poklad (Treasure) Svatební košile (The Wedding Shirts) Polednice (Lady midday) Zlatý kolovrat (The Golden Spinning-Wheel) Štědrý den (Christmas Eve) Holoubek (Little Dove) Záhořovo lože (Záhoř's Bed) Vodník (The Water-Goblin) Vrba (Willow) Lilie (Lily) Dceřina kletba (Daughter's Curse) Věštkyně (Seeress)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liz Kordulova

    It´s a classic. I knew some poems from this book before I started reading it. Even so I enjoyed it just as if I´d read it for the first time. Some of these tales just never get old. The stories are very original and beautifully written. I´m from Czech republic but I wouldn´t mind reading this in English either. Actually, I´m interested in how it´s been translated. Great book, recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hana

    Even though it is considered a Czech classics and children are taught about it, in my opinion the author must have been a psychopath and I can't understand why it is so praised. A book about dearh, murder, death, murder... you get the idea. Even though it is considered a Czech classics and children are taught about it, in my opinion the author must have been a psychopath and I can't understand why it is so praised. A book about dearh, murder, death, murder... you get the idea.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pavla Rudolfová

    One of my favourite books of all times. Perfect dark placement of old bohemic tales without heroic characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    James Klagge

    A litany of murder, betrayal, evil spirits, and regret. These tales from my cultural past, collected in the mid-nineteenth century, feel very foreign to the modern world. But, on the other hand, my mother's father's mother is reputed to have been crazy. She came from Chotusice, a little village in Bohemia that I have visited and where various 3rd cousins of mine still live. She didn't like living in the US, and after my grandfather was born in 1905, she returned home with him for a while. The fa A litany of murder, betrayal, evil spirits, and regret. These tales from my cultural past, collected in the mid-nineteenth century, feel very foreign to the modern world. But, on the other hand, my mother's father's mother is reputed to have been crazy. She came from Chotusice, a little village in Bohemia that I have visited and where various 3rd cousins of mine still live. She didn't like living in the US, and after my grandfather was born in 1905, she returned home with him for a while. The family story is that she had a child there and gave it away to a cousin, and then returned to the US. Later she had another child and when it died she blamed its death on my 6-year-old grandfather, for having taken it outside on the tenement balcony once. My grandfather also told of actually receiving coal in his stocking at Christmas. Those are distant echoes of the kind of tales contained in this collection. The translation from the Czech aims to preserve rhyme and rhythm. It does this, presumably at the cost of literal meaning. While I generally prefer translations that aim for literal meaning, these tales seem best captured and conveyed through rhyme and rhythm, so the translation seems fine.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jaroslava Česnohlídková

    Great collection of ballads. One of my favorite czech books. Mácha was really talented and had a amazing ability of using language. Ballads are easy to understand and reader can also easily remember them. My favourite one is "The wedding shirt". I can definitely recommend this book, so make sure you read it! Great collection of ballads. One of my favorite czech books. Mácha was really talented and had a amazing ability of using language. Ballads are easy to understand and reader can also easily remember them. My favourite one is "The wedding shirt". I can definitely recommend this book, so make sure you read it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Colca

    So even though this is a Chzech book, I'm going to write this review in English, because I want as many people as possible to read this. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE!!! I don't say that about things at all, but this books can just give you chills. Although this is a really old book there are kinda zombies in one of the stories!!! Erben was one of the first people to use them... So even though this is a Chzech book, I'm going to write this review in English, because I want as many people as possible to read this. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE!!! I don't say that about things at all, but this books can just give you chills. Although this is a really old book there are kinda zombies in one of the stories!!! Erben was one of the first people to use them...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tereza Hladíková

    Horrifying yet fascinating piece of classical Czech literature. It was surprisingly readable, which I did not expect since it's almost 200 years old. The language was beautiful, sound of the words perfectly fitted the situations. It was brutal but I couldn't stop reading. Horrifying yet fascinating piece of classical Czech literature. It was surprisingly readable, which I did not expect since it's almost 200 years old. The language was beautiful, sound of the words perfectly fitted the situations. It was brutal but I couldn't stop reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marshall Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed reading in translation some of the early legends (fairy tales) of the Czech lands. Laurel Erben gathered these tales from the region's of Bohemia where people still spoke Czech. This was during the revival of the Czech language in the 19th century. I enjoyed reading in translation some of the early legends (fairy tales) of the Czech lands. Laurel Erben gathered these tales from the region's of Bohemia where people still spoke Czech. This was during the revival of the Czech language in the 19th century.

  20. 5 out of 5

    annet🌸

    unfortunately i didnt read this book in a good mood and mental health - the poems are good, i just find them a bit overrated, but thats because im czech and the main thing we learn in czech literature is this piece:) there are other books or poems that deserve more fame than this

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Grimm’s Fairytales: the Catholic, Slavic, total bloodbath version with less lucid plot lines. Cannibalism, pilgrimages through Hell, the boiled heads of family members—that kind of thing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    LovelyYumms

    I really liked it! It was different from what I usually read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adel.

    2,5 stars. I could not get through it and I honestly did not want to read but I had to because of school

  24. 5 out of 5

    SgFlaxy

    love it

  25. 4 out of 5

    barb

    a masterpiece, truly

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kateřina Urbanová

    I read this book every year and i still love it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Krystof Brichta

    Kytice is a really interesting book by K. J. Erben. This collection of poems is pretty scary. Though it doesn't belong to my favorite books, it is of the czech classics everyone should read. The book compared to the movie is more detailed. The movie is more a footage to poem reciting, especially the poem Vodník. The movie is really artistic and I would compare it to some of Warhols movies. I would recommend this book to everyone, because it is just classic. Everyone who loves romanticism should re Kytice is a really interesting book by K. J. Erben. This collection of poems is pretty scary. Though it doesn't belong to my favorite books, it is of the czech classics everyone should read. The book compared to the movie is more detailed. The movie is more a footage to poem reciting, especially the poem Vodník. The movie is really artistic and I would compare it to some of Warhols movies. I would recommend this book to everyone, because it is just classic. Everyone who loves romanticism should read it and everyone who likes good poetry too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jason Robert

    Good translation; it works hard to maintain the original meter and rhyme scheme, with solid use of rhetorical devices and archaisms to maintain the creepy/sombre tone where needed. The presence of Christian tradition is a bit heavy in some of the tales, but there are plenty of familiar folk-tale genre specific elements, with some tales new to someone not familiar with the particular tradition from which this draws. I particularly enjoyed "The Noonday Witch" and "The Water Goblin". Good translation; it works hard to maintain the original meter and rhyme scheme, with solid use of rhetorical devices and archaisms to maintain the creepy/sombre tone where needed. The presence of Christian tradition is a bit heavy in some of the tales, but there are plenty of familiar folk-tale genre specific elements, with some tales new to someone not familiar with the particular tradition from which this draws. I particularly enjoyed "The Noonday Witch" and "The Water Goblin".

  29. 5 out of 5

    petra.reads

    If you are interested in czech folklore, read this, you're gonna love it. It's a compulsory reading for me. Everytime someone tells me I HAVE TO read something, I can't bring myself to enjoy it. Pokud vás zajímá český folklór, přečtěte si to. Pro mě je to povinná četba, což mi vždycky znechutí jakékoli čtení. If you are interested in czech folklore, read this, you're gonna love it. It's a compulsory reading for me. Everytime someone tells me I HAVE TO read something, I can't bring myself to enjoy it. Pokud vás zajímá český folklór, přečtěte si to. Pro mě je to povinná četba, což mi vždycky znechutí jakékoli čtení.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Scary, romantic, funny fairy tales; greatly translated into German(which I read two of them in)and very fine in Czech, naturally; especially the last one, "The daughter's curse" reminded me of a typical folklore song. Scary, romantic, funny fairy tales; greatly translated into German(which I read two of them in)and very fine in Czech, naturally; especially the last one, "The daughter's curse" reminded me of a typical folklore song.

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