Pavel Janousek

(b.1956) is a literary historian and critic. He works at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague, and is director of the Institute of Czech Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.


Generals always prepare for the previous war

On the new paradigm of Czech literary history

The notion of the canon in Czech literary studies is being challenged by a relativist, postmodern approach to history. Its proponents claim this constitutes a revolution, though literary critic Pavel Janousek is sceptical. Established schemas are predominantly an illusion, he writes: in the Harry Potter era, the canon ceased to be meaningful to anyone other than academics. In railing against the canon, they are like generals preparing for the previous war.

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