Medieval Bohemia, the petty bility thing more than highwaymen, literally robber barons, and the king has to dispatch troops to restore order. Marketa Lazarova was promised to God at birth, destined to live her life in a convent, but she is abducted by one of the neighboring Kozlik clan and discovers her sensual self. Told in shifting perspectives, mixing the archaic with the modern, the elevated with the vulgar, Vancura's tale is a compressed epic, less historical vel (the history of his ancestors) than paean to hor, courage, life, carnality, and above all a love that undermines conventional tions of the profane as it shifts to a sacred outside the sanctions of religious dogma. In so doing, he shows the nexus between Crown and Church to subjugate those who prefer to follow their own natures over following imposed laws and precepts. Cinematic in approach to draw the reader into the action, as if it were happening right before one's eyes, Marketa Lazarova deserves its place among the classics of interwar modernism, and it was awarded Czechoslovakia's State Prize for Literature upon its publication in 1931. Yet the vel has been largely kwn by Frantisek Vlacil's 1967 film adaptation, generally considered one of the greatest achievements of Czech cinema, and unavailable in English until w.
Winner of Statni Cena za Literaturu (Czech Republic State Prize for Literature) 1931.