Czech literature

Czech literature is the literature written by Czechs, mostly in the Czech language, although other languages like Old Church Slavonic, Latin or German have been also used, especially in the past. Non-Czech inhabitants of the Czech lands who had written in German and other languages, are usually excluded from the corpus of Czech literature, regardless of their own national self-identification. Thus Franz Kafka, for example, who wrote in German (though he was also fluent in Czech), is often considered part of Austrian or German literature. Czech literature is divided into roughly ten main time periods: the Middle Ages; the Hussite period; the years of re-Catholicization and the baroque; the Enlightenment and Czech reawakening in the 19th century; the avantgarde of the interwar period; the years under Communism and the Prague Spring; and the literature of the post-Communist Czech Republic. Czech literature and culture played a notable role on at least two occasions when Czech society lived under oppression and little to no political activity was possible. On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the 1960s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to create political freedom and to establish a confident, politically aware nation.