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Karel Jaromír Erben was our most important writer of the 19th Century. His best-known work and his only collection of poems, entitled Kytice (Bouquet), have both been revived in a new comic book form.

Kytice as a Comic Book: A Massacre in Poetry!

Eva Ledecká
10.Feb 2017
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1 minute

Late last year, exactly 205 years had passed since the birth of Karel Jaromír Erben and, in his honour, his only collection of poems, entitled Kytice, was recreated in a rare comic form.

The Origin of Erben’s ballads

Erben’s ballads emerged from the Romantic revival and they are based on the folk traditions of the Czech past and on old folk tales.

During his introverted life the author faced the death of his nearest and dearest, which was bound to affect both his psyche and his work. Reflected in his poems is a world of human suffering that is tangled-up with a world of demons. The axis of his poems constitutes the twin themes of guilt and punishment; the author himself did not actually believe in rebellion against fate and worshipped order.

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 Záběhlice
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 Záběhlice, Praha 10

A Luxurious Comic Book

A unique new edition of the Kytice collection emphasises the mysticism of Erben’s ballads and their mystery and rawness by including accompanying illustrations in the form of different comics that precede each written poem. Thereby the reader has the opportunity to experience the story through unique illustrations and to then read the entire ballad as it had been written.

Due to its modern processing style the book becomes a great means for bringing poetry to readers who in their everyday lives are not specially inclined to it.

The Authors of the Luxurious Illustrations

Several renowned illustrators contributed to the perfect graphic design, each of whom took-on one poem. Thereby, in addition to the poetry, the book provides a luxurious view of 12 different comics and exhibits the illustration styles of the following artists: Delarock, Tomáš Motal, Marco Turini, Vladimír Strejček, Jan Gruml, Marek Rubec, Petr Holman, Dominik Miklušák, Longyi, Vojtěch Velický, Karel Cettl, Kateřina Bažantová “Ktaiwanita”.

The book also represents the first title of the proposed Czech Grimm edition, the aim of which is to enhance, restore and bring Czech mythology, legend and lore back to its readers. The book was published as the very first title to be issued by the Transmedialist Publishing House.

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