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Vladislav Vancura

Vladislav Vancura

Vladislav Vančura was a Czech writer, film director, playwright and screenwriter. The novel Pekař Jan Marhoul ("Baker Jan Marhoul"), published in 1924, introduced him as a great author to the public. It is Vančura's first novel and maybe also his best - story of tragical life of a wealthy baker who is continuously declining into destitution and death despite his gentleness and goodness. The story is written with extraordinary language and a brilliant style.

In 1925, Vančura published the novel Pole orná a válečná ("Fields of Plough, Fields of War") and the following year the novel Rozmarné léto ("Summer of Caprice"), became a bestseller. It is a humorous story of three men – a colonel, a priest and a bath-keeper – during rainy summer holidays. In 1967, the book was successfully filmed as Capricious Summer by the Czech director Jiří Menzel who also played the role of Arnoštek.

Vančura entered the strong anti-Hitler cultural movement and started to write the book Obrazy z dějin národa českého (Pictures of the History of the Bohemian Nation); its first parts were published and then became a bestseller and symbol of resistance. On 12 May 1942, at 5:00 a.m., the Gestapo assaulted his house in Zbraslav, arrested him and tortured him in the Prague Gestapo headquarters... He was murdered by the Nazis on 1 June 1942.

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