Recently published

Nature in Otokar Březina’s Work

Holman, Petr, Karolinum, Praha, 2014, 240 pp. ISBN 9788024627465

The aim of the nine studies prepared in the years 2003–2013 is to discuss the symbolism, practical usage and the contextual meaning of the terms, metaphors and other, surprisingly frequent and masterfully used terminology from the sphere of natural sciences in the poetic and essayistic work of Otokar Březina (1868–1929) and also in his correspondence.

The aim of the book Nature in Otokar Březina’s Work is also to mediate the work of Březina to those interested abroad, and at the same time to contribute to the knowledge of Czech literature beyond the geopolitical, geographical and linguistic area of the exclusively Czech milieu.

A Syntagmaticon of Hindi Verbo-Nominal Syntagmas. A Collection of Structured Verb-Noun Phrases

Kostić, Svetislav, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, 2014, 388 pp. ISBN-13:978-3-659-42665-0, ISBN-10: 3659426652, EAN: 9783659426650

The publication is an expanded and revised edition of the book published in 2009 by the Karolinum Press in Prague.

The book deals with a special syntactic and semantic phenomenon in Hindī, namely the constructions consisting of nominal and verbal constituents. Depending on the relations between them, some other words, e.g. postpositions, adverbs etc., can also be involved as components of the constructions. Their mutual relations correspond either to the object-predicate phrase, or such phrase may form a semantic, i. e. onomasiologic unit, which describes an action and is either the only name of the action, or a synonym of the simple verb denoting the same action. The syntagmaticon lists the most frequent syntagmas, classified alphabetically according to the nominal components, which form a kind of phrase book. It contains nearly eighteen hundred nouns and about five hundred verbs. The syntagmaticon comprizes not only simple object-predicate-related constructions and onomasiologic units, but also many idiomatic expressions.

It can serve as a practical manual of Hindī phraseology.

First part of the book contains a comprehensive study on morpho-syntactic and semantic properties of the syntagmas, whereas the second part presents the very syntagmaticon, in which the structure of every phrase or syntagma is displayed schematically, so that each its component occupies its proper syntagmatic and paradigmatic slot.

Contemporary Funeral Rituals of Sa’dan Toraja. From Aluk Todolo to “New” Religions

Budiman, Michaela, KAROLINUM 2013, 160 pp, ISBN 978-80-246-2228-6.

The book discusses the Toraja ethnic group, who inhabit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and who, until the arrival of the first Dutch missionaries at the beginning of the 20th century, had essentially been cut off from the rest of the world. It can thus be said that until that point, the Toraja represented an isolated socio-cultural system. The book draws on the field research of the author, which focused on the study of the most important contemporary Toraja ritual – the funeral – and furthermore on identifying and documenting the changes that have affected Toraja society as a result of their embrace of Christianity during the past century. The Toraja region, which is at present populated by the adherents of various Christian denominations, Islam, and the autochthonous religion Aluk Todolo (lit. the religion of the ancestors), offered an exceptionally rich and varied source material for study. The result of this field research is this work, which aims to analyse the material gathered and to present a description of the formal and principal shifts expressed in the traditional rituals, which reflect seminal changes in terms of the role of religion. The book points out how Christianity, which has been adopted relatively recently, is incorporated into the indigenous religion and the customary law adat, which is derived from it. The book ventures to explain why in less than a hundred years, almost 90 % of the population converted from Aluk Todolo, mainly to Christianity, also describing the process of conversion, and the extent to which (and in which localities) the new religion most visibly affected the form of modern-day rituals. The opinions of both Christians and minority adherents of Aluk Todolo  are noted, especially with regard to the current situation, where funeral rites in particular represent a curious syncretic phenomenon, reflecting the societal changes that have taken place.

Březiniana II. Dokumenty, ohlasy, paralely, přesahy 1966–2006

Holman, Petr, TRIÁDA 2012, 1 464 pp., ISBN 978-80-87256-81-7.

A collage of opinions, notes, references and reflections on Otokar Březina from various persons who in some cases are immersed in the life of literature, both from Bohemia and from abroad, and in other cases come from various specialisations, and who react in a neutral, passionate, positive or negative manner. And they do so in their letters, reviews, specialised papers, dedications and the like. This reflects the work and life of a great poet of Czech and world symbolism, whose inspiration among other things also included the religious systems, texts and literature of ancient India.

However, this project did not arise only by way of a thorough investigation of libraries. An important source is also the correspondence and everyday oral communication (also by way of ordinary and electronic post, fax or even the telephone answering machine). On the basis of both oral and postal communication arose materials a broad geographical network, which document Březina’s almost planetary omnipresence.

The book offers a testimony about the existence and non-existence of the values, forms and properties of the Březinian phenomenon in the modern world, in other words a testimony about the modern world, which – for most of us surprisingly and unconsciously – appears as coherent phenomenon thanks to a poet considered to be a classic. This text is equally interesting both for a general reader and for a specialist in Březina’a work. – After Holman’s edition of the poet’s prosaic creation Hudba pramenů a jiné eseje (Music of the Springs and Other Essays, 1989, 1996), the previous volume of Březiniana studies (2003), to which refers the title of this Březiniana II, and after the complete edition of Březina’s Korespondence (Correspondence, 2004), the present text appears to be a new venture in the sphere of research in literary history as a document of the mutual interpenetration of the past and present.

Premchand’s Short Story Reader. The Best Short Stories by Premchand.

Kostić, Svetislav, Karolinum, Praha 2011, vi + 328 pp.; ISBN 978-80-246-2003-9.

This is a critical edition of 22 short stories by the founder of modern Hindi short story Dhanpat Ray (Premchand, 1880-1936). The selection is based on earlier and new Indian editions. The book is equipped with a vocabulary containing comments on cultural and religious events.

Pandanus ’13/1 — Pandanus ’13/2, Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual.

Vacek, Jaroslav (ed.)

Special Issue to Commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Birth of Moriz Winternitz (December 23, 1863 – January 9, 1937)


Auxiliarity in Tamil with special reference to auxiliary verbs iru, viTu and koL

Hons, Pavel, Studia Orientalia Pragensia XXIV. Charles University in Prague, the Karolinum Press 2006, 92 pp., ISBN 80-246-1057-4, ISSN 0587-1255.

The study deals with the problem of auxiliary verbs in Tamil. It tries to define auxiliary verbs in general and then finds out which Tamil verbs suit this definition. Several verbs have been put through five tests regarding loss of their lexical meaning, loss of inflection, frequency of use, change of phonological shape and syntactic restrictions on their use. In the end we get several groups of verbs only one of which can be rightly considered auxiliary, i.e. iru, viTu, koLLu and –TTum. This small group is by no means homogenous and shows considerable internal discrepancy. The particular uses of these verbs differ from each other and show various preservation of their original lexical meaning. Varying amount of auxiliarity in individual uses of these verbs has also been proved on syntactic level.

The other groups are modal verbs (veNTu, muTi, kuTu), the so-called auxiliary verbs (muTi, vai, par, koTu, nil, tolai…) that have somewhat descriptive character and a few odd verbs (varu, ner, paTu, cey…). These are closer to some grammatical function. All of them have reached different levels on the auxiliary scale but they are still more or less easily connectable with their MV counteparts.

The second part of the study brings a detailed of the verbs and their functions.

Verb Syntagmata in Hindi, Structure and Function

Kostić, Svetislav, 127 pp. Prague: Karolinum, 1999, ISBN 80-7184-777-1 ISSN 0567-8269.

A simple verb designates an action in general. Verb syntagmas (a phenomenon typical for Hindi and other modern Indian languages) consisting of pair of verbs, are able to convey some additional features of the action independently on the tense and mood forms. The most typical functions they can convey are manners of action, verbal aspect and expressiveness. The study deals with different types of syntagmata based on the non-finite verb forms: Verb Stem, Absolutive / Transgressive, Participles (perfective and imperfective), Infinitive, Gerundive, Supine and their functions. Structural analysis is carried out on the Hindi literature language material (Premchand and folk literature).

A Syntagmaticon of Hindi Verbo-Nominal Syntagmas.

Kostić, Svetislav, Charles University in Prague, the Karolinum Press, 2009.

A systematic overview of phraseologic conjunction of verbs with 1800 nouns, arranged in Hindi alphabetic order. These conjunctions have to serve as multi-word naming units of action, but some of them are idioms.

Hindí Aštádhyáyí or Hindi Vademecum

Miltner, Vladimír, Edited by Jaroslav Vacek. UK, Karolinum, SOP XXI, 2000, 89 pp. + text reproduction (8 pp.), ISBN 80-246-0085-4, ISSN 0587-1255.

Systematic presentation of Hindi grammar advocating the classical Paninian tradition of linguistic thought. Concise rules of grammatical forms and of patterning of sentences with textual examples and a vocabulary. Writing the Devanagari script (table).

Old Hindi Reader

Miltner, Vladimír, Consultants: PhDr. Svetislav Kostić, PhDr. Jaroslav Strnad, Karolinum, Prague 1995. 107 pp.

Break-up of the Traditional Hindu Family as Reflected in Asapurna Debi’s Short Stories.

Preinhaelterová, Hana, 72 pp. Prague: Charles University, Faculty of Arts, 1995, ISBN 80-85899-09-4.

Joint family and its disintegration has been the most frequented topic of the modern Bengali fiction since its birth in the 19th century. Among the contemporary writers, it is Asapurna Debi (1909-1995) who deals with the problem in the most thorough and perhaps most successful way. Two of the many aspects of family relations tackled by her are worked out with remarkable refinement: the generation conflict and the entry of women into public life. Although Asapurna is a superb story-teller, her narratives culminate psychologically and not in an epic manner, often by means of the hero’s sudden epiphany. The present publication analyses the author’s methods and shows that Asapurna, with her first-hand experience of the problems of family life and with her impartial, pragmatic and humane attitude to their solution, serves as a fine example of a good woman writer. To be used by librarians, specialists in Indian, and especially Bengali literature.

Flowers and Formulas. Nature as Symbolic Code in Old Tamil Love Poetry.

Vacek, Jaroslav, Studia Orientalia Pragensia XXV, Charles Univeristy, Prague, 2007, 249 pp,  ISSN 0587-1255; ISBN 978-80-246-1424-3.

Nature symbolism and formulas used with five basic plants of Old Tamil literature, which at the same time represent “meta-signs” of the indigenous literary theory. Sanskrit parallels. Revised and enlarged edition of earlier papers. Detailed indexes.

Dravidian and Altaic ‘Water – Viscosity – Cold’.

Vacek, Jaroslav, Charles University, The Karolinum Press, Prague 2002, 359 pp., ISBN 80-246-0343-8, ISSN 0587-1255.

The work sums up a semantic and phonetic model linked with the specified semantic field and analyses it in the context of the respective languages. The Supplements include parallel etymological nests, examples of select sound correspondences and parallels with some other languages (Japanese, Finno-Ugrian). An attempt to create a new model of lexical comparison of languages.

Nilgiri Areal Studies.

Zvelebil, Kamil V., Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Edited by J. Vacek and J. Dvořák, Philologica Monographia CXXXIII, Prague, The Karolinum Press, 2001, 535 pp., ISBN 80-7184-945-6, ISSN 0567-8269.

Authorised complete edition of Prof. K. V. Zvelebil’s work in Nilgiri linguistics and ethnography for the last almost 50 years. The author added a comprehensive Introduction (pp. 17-37), in which he provides a more general view of the problems of the study of the Nilgiri area and of its languages. The work is provided with detailed indexes and extensive bibliography on the topic.

Tamulica et Dravidica: A Selection of Papers on Tamil and Dravidian Linguistics

Zvelebil, Kamil V., Orientalia Pragensia XIII, Philologica 3, 1995. Edited by Jaroslav Vacek and Jan Dvořák, 295 pp. Prague: Karolinum – Charles University Press, 1998, ISSN 0567-8269.

Prof. K. V. Zvelebil’s linguistic papers from the earlier years which appeared scattered throughout the world in the 50s and 60s, some of which are difficult to obtain because they were published in rare journals (Tamil Culture etc.). Besides showing the then “state of the art”, the papers are also relevant for the study of various aspects of the system of Tamil grammar, aspects of the colloquial language and of Dravidian in general. Multiple indexes (pp. 279–295). Complete bibliography of the author between 1951 and 1994 (509 items). Brief biographical sketch of the author (pp. 7–10). To be used by librarians, specialists in Indian, and especially Dravidian studies.

Čilagun-u bičig, A Mongolian Prophetic Text.

Edited, translated and commented upon by J. Lubsangdorji and J. Vacek. 87 pp. Prague: Karolinum, 1997, ISBN 80-7184-415-2.

A rare Mongolian prophetic text published with an extensive philological commentary and literal translation. Facsimile of the text is enclosed. A text whose parallels may be also looked for in other Central Asiatic languages. The source of the present copy seems to be a Chinese original. The text is partly overlapping with another version published by A. Sárközi. To be used by librarians, specialists in Mongolian and Central Asian studies.

Czech books

Indie. Bohové a lidé.

Kolektiv autorů. Odborná redakce: H. Knížková. Brno: SVAN a Moravské zemské muzeum, 1997, ISBN 80-84956-12-8, ISBN 80-7028-105-7.

Various aspects of Indian Hinduism by Czech Indologists. D. Zbavitel: Principles of Hinduism, E. Merhautová: Hindu mythology, K. Zvelebil: Ceremonies at home and in the temple, H. Preinhaelterová: Life cycle rituals and customs, The festival of Mother Durga and her children, H. Knížková: Hinduism and art. The book has numerous technically perfect photos with comprehensive subtitles, an index and a list of recommended literature.

Moje bengálské přítelkyně

Preinhaelterová, Hana, 2. vyd. Foto Erika Piecková. 237 str. Liberec: Nakl. J. R. Vilímka, 1999, ISBN 80-82210-01-4.

(My Bengali friends) Everyday Hinduism from within. Etiquette, eating habits, clothing, the ideal of feminine beauty, arranged marriages, Hindu view of married life and life itself. The author draws her experience from a year’s stay at a girls’ hostel at the Shantiniketan University and from the inner parts of her girl-colleagues’ households. Hindu habits are confronted with the writer’s European behaviour and views in a partly humorous and partly philosophising way. The first edition of the book was translated into Russian and Slovak and, in an abbreviated form, into Bengali.

Hinduista od zrození do zrození.

Preinhaelterová, Hana, 136 str. Praha: Vyšehrad, 1996, ISBN 80-7021-211-X.

(A Hindu from Birth to Birth) Hindu life-cycle rituals and customs. Based on theoretical studies and Bengali fiction concerning the field but mainly on the author’s direct experience from her stays in Bengali middle-class households. The aim of the book is not only to acquaint European readers with common-life Hinduism, but also to make them compare the distant culture with their own, to discover similarities with the extinct or dying-out customs and beliefs in the Christian cultural sphere and to appreciate the positive features of traditional Hindu family relations as compared with the Western self-centred consumers’ society.)

Průvodce dějinami staroindické literatury

Zbavitel, Dušan & Vacek, Jaroslav, 544 str. Třebíč: Arca JiMfa, 1996, ISBN 80-85766-34-5.

“>(A Guide through the History of Old-Indian Literature) The so far most comprehensive Czech survey of classical Indian literature written in Sanskrit, in the Prakrits, in Pali (D. Zbavitel) and in Old and Middle Tamil (J. Vacek). The survey finishes roughly by the turn of the 1st and 2nd millennium AD. Rich bibliography, numerous samples of original works (prose and verse). The book can serve for general information (a complete index of the names of authors and works) and also for a more detailed study.

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