The aim of the article is to outline the activities of the Czech journalist, publisher and important representative of Czech national-economic thought in the 19th century, František Šimáček. Particular attention is focused on the operation of Šimáček’s business. Through his own company, Šimáček implemented his national-economic ideas as the essence of Czech national emancipation. In his publishing programme, he emphasised the quality of the books prepared for publication (with abundant illustrations and decorative publisher’s binding) in order to gain recognition for Czech books even in the highest social classes. As an employer and journalist, he acted as a classical liberal influenced by the pioneering ideas of Vojta Náprstek, whom he often met privately as well. He became a remarkable figure of Czech national life not only in Prague. He deliberately supported it through the distribution of the printed word, both as a radical journalist, which brought him police execution and large financial losses, and as a publisher or the owner of the printing works that offered not only the production of the publishing house but also a wide range of printed materials especially for Czech savings banks.
The activities of the Landfras printing works and the associated publishing house are an important part of the history of book culture in the Czech lands in the 19th century and form a significant chapter in the history of book printing and publishing in this period. The focus of the production of the printing works and the publishing house reflected the new needs of literate broad social classes in the 19th century, showing increased interest in the printed word. The company used the modern methods and technologies available, which reduced the price of the final book or other printed materials. For publication, it selected titles whose sales were guaranteed or at least expected. The result was the repeated printing of a number of titles of religious, educational and entertainment literature, which had already been popular in previous centuries, and the development of contemporary titles for the general public from both urban and rural areas. For centuries, great popularity was mainly enjoyed by the titles of religious folk literature (Himmelschlüssel prayer books by the theologian Martin von Cochem and other prayer and devotional books), in which Baroque Catholic piety was reflected until the late 19th century. To the original Himmelschlüssel and other traditional titles, the printing works added titles of its regular authors and their translations of contemporary prayer and religious literature. It complemented the titles of secular entertainment literature (reprints of original works, e.g. Kronika o Štilfridovi [The Chronicle of Štilfríd] or Kronika sedmi mudrců [The Chronicle of the Seven Wise Men]) with translations and original works by Jan Hýbl and Václav Rodomil Kramerius, and it also printed moralising stories by local priests. Educational literature, such as guides for homesteaders, cooks and the like sold also well. A separate activity section comprises the publication and printing of textbooks mostly for local schools. Until the end of the 19th century, they were abundantly complemented by printed broadsides, affordable to every household. A significant chapter of the 19th century was the development of periodicals, which was mirrored in the second half of that century also in newly emerging regional titles, especially in the weekly Ohlas od Nežárky [Echoes from the River Nežárka], which began to be published in 1871.
The article presents the history of Otto’s publishing house from its establishment in 1871 until the death of its founder, Jan Otto, in 1916 with an emphasis on the formative years of the development of the business (1871, 1883/84, 1899). It deals with the transformation of the company and Otto’s exceptional business success. Otto managed to build the biggest nationally Czech publishing enterprise, characterised by a sophisticated universal editing programme, through which he tried to cover all literary needs of the Czech nation. At the end of Otto’s life, his company stopped expanding and gradually began to stagnate. The lack of a suitable successor in the management of the company and fights over the inheritance eventually led to the fall of this company.
The present paper is the first study about Marin Sorescu’s volume of poetry translated into Catalan language and entitled Per entre els dies. Antologia poètica. The translators of the volume are Corina Oproae and the very author of this article, while the poet Frances Parcerisas signs the foreword of the book, published in bilingual edition in 2013 by the Majorcan Publishing House Lleonard Muntaner Editor.
On the occasion of the commemoration of 500 years since the Reformation, this article, entitled “Reformation and Orthodoxy”, calls attention to the personality of Johannes Honterus (1497-1549), the Lutheran reformer of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Transylvania, and reviews his relationship to Orthodoxy, a relationship which may be referred to as “Early Ecumenism”. Johannes Honterus, one of the most important personalities of the Transylvanian Saxons, was an outstanding scholar who had studied in Vienna, Krakow, Regensburg and Basel. He became the founder of the first school and the first publishing house in Brasov (Kronstadt), and – as Senior Pastor – was the reformer of his native town and eventually all of Transylvania (1547). Honterus had close contacts to Christian-Orthodox Romanians from surrounding areas, and in his publishing house not only Latin, Greek and German textbooks were published, as well as the two most important works about the Reformation in Brasov and the whole of Transylvania, but also – about 1540 –, among others, the so called Christian-Orthodox „Edition of Nilus“, with extracts from the Greek Patristic Literature by Evaragius Ponticus, Gregory of Nazianz and Thalassus. His dialogue with Orthodox visitors to his town inspired his work for the Lutheran Reformation among the Transylvanian Saxons. From 1556 to 1583, Honterus had in his publishing house the most important Orthodox publisher of the 16th century, Deacon Coresi. This “early ecumenism” became the basis for the well-known tradition of religious tolerance in Transylvania.
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