Prague in Black and Gold Scenes from the Life of a European City

Peter Demetz

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

432 Pages



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Prague is at the core of everything both wonderful and terrible in Western history, but few people truly understand this city's unique culture. In Prague in Black and Gold, Peter Demetz strips away sentimentalities and distortions and shows how Czechs, Germans, Italians, and Jews have lived and worked together for over a thousand years.


Praise for Prague in Black and Gold

"Demetz focuses on the dark and disturbing aspects of the city's history, as well as on its golden glories . . . With great erudition and profound engagement, [he] has made it possible for us to come closer to understanding Prague."—Larry Wolff, The New York Times Book Review

"Demetz seems to reveal in the multifariousness of his native ground . . . [and] gives the flowering of that diversity its full due . . . A fluid chronicle."—Frederic Morton, Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Prague in Black and Gold
1LIBUSSA, OR VERSIONS OF ORIGINWhat the Schoolchildren LearnIn February 1893, the Czech writer Alois Jirásek, patriot, industrious historian, and late ally of Walter Scott, was preparing a little book for young readers and, in a letter to a friend, expressed his hope that it would make its way without "big band and loud advertising." Jirásek's Old Czech Legends first appeared in 1894, and his hopes, and those of his publisher, Josef Richard Vilfmek, were fulfilled far beyond their expectations. Old Czech Legends has been published and republished for a hundred
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  • Peter Demetz

  • Peter Demetz, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Yale University, was born in Prague.
  • Peter Demetz Isolde Ohlbaum