“... his poem is cinder that, thrown from an extinct volcano, falls among flowers. We may and do take delight in flowers, but not in the cold, dead meteor ejected from torn entrails. In this we find nothing beautiful, invigorating, nothing poetic in the strict sense of the world. This work might acquire some real value if the poet wished to tear away the black curtain that was draped by his imagery over every more cheery prospect...”
Jan Slavomír Tomíček, Česká včela, 31 May 1836/
After an initially negative response, the lyrical epic Máj (May) by Karel Hynek Mácha gradually made a name for itself not only for its literary merits, but as a source of inspiration that still resonates for generations of historians, philosophers and above all artists. Whatever the clichés that surround Mácha’s work, literary scholars are revisiting it again and again and calling for new interpretations. And of course the researcher and the reader are provoked by the personality and appearance of the poet.