Néruda, Jan

WRITER, POET (AUSTRIAN EMPIRE)
BORN 10 Jul 1834, Praha - DIED 22 Aug 1891, Praha
GRAVE LOCATION Praha: Vysehrad Cemetery (3D-25 (348))

Czech son of a military canteen owner. As a student he met Anna Holinova. They saw each other for ten years - reason for historians to call her 'the eternal bride' - but then they parted. He fell in love with the writer Karolina Svetla, but she was married and rejected him. It was because of her that he devoted himself to literature.

When he was 24 his poetry collection "Cemetery Flowers" had been published (his first poems were published under the name Janko Hovoro). He wrote many columns and stories for several newspapers and together with Halek he started the journal Koety. He also wrote plays. In his poetry he gradually switched from the theme of death to the theme of poverty. When he was thirty he met Tereza Machackova, but she soon died of tuberculosis, leaving him alone once more. He lived with his mother until her death in 1869.

In 1869 he published an antisemitical study political study "Pro strach zidovsky" (In Fear of Jews), where he attacked the attitude of Jews towards money. It is unclear why he did this, but in the 20th century this intellectually simple study was used for antisemitic propagenda.

In his later years he suffered from health problems and after a bad knee injury he walked with difficulty. After his death his former fiancee Anna Holinova threw a bouquet of violets through the open window. He was about to be buried at the Sklavin, that was reserved for national celebrities, but his housekeeper and beneficiary Mrs. Halikova decided that he should be buried in an individual grave at the same cemetery.

Related persons
• has a connection with Svetlá, Karolina

Sources
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
• Wachmeier, Günther, Prag, Kunst- und Reiseführer, W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart, 1967
• Nechvatal, Borivoy, Vyehradský Hrbitov, Narotni kulturni pamatka, Praha, 1991
Radio Prague's Virtual Cemetery - Jan Neruda
Radio Prague - Czechs in History

Images

Jan Néruda's tomb at the Vysehrad Cemetery, Prague.
Picture by Androom (16 Aug 2000)

 


Nerval, Gérard de

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 29 Nov 2009