Antonín Václavík a česká etnografie druhé poloviny 20. století

Variant title
Antonín Václavík and Czech ethnography of the second half of the 20th century
Source document: Jančář, Josef. Antonín Václavík (1891-1959) a evropská etnologie : kontexty doby a díla. Editor: Drápala, Daniel. Vyd. 1. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Filozofická fakulta, 2010, pp. 11-17
As Václavík's work was underestimated and ignored on purpose due to ideological reasons, he was the first person – in fact, he was the only person in Czechoslovakia – to define the branch of science. His definition has remained valid to this date. He managed to coin paradigms of ethnographic research as well as principles of ethnologic interpretation of the acquired knowledge. In his key monography entitled Výroční obyčeje a lidové umění he provided numerous authentic accounts of the fact that the oldest folk art was related to magic objectives and that it was based on ancient cults. Only the very last stage of development can be characterised by the presence of aesthetic and representative interests. Václavík's work was affected by the simultaneous social and political changes. The closest theoretical and methodological principle of his was phenomenological hermeneutics, in the spirit of which he taught us to know folk culture and to defend it from false interpretations in terms of its origin and nature. Today (fifty years after his demise and after the publication of his most important monography) we can be inspired (with a certain level of "generosity of spirit") by his scientific and academic legacy; but we can also learn from things that from today' perspective appear to have been a mistake.
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