Reading Black, Reading Czech: UnravelingtheFigureofthe Czech TragicMulatta
Karla Kovalová

Following Ann DuCille’s (2010) call to explore what black feminist theory can offer to its “other,”this paperoffers a blackfeministreadingofŽivotopis cernobílého jehnete (2009) by Tomáš Zmeškal, a novel set in communistCzechoslovakia, to demonstrate that such reading not only reveals how communist ideology challenges notions of blackness but also unravels a new African female Diasporic figure—the figure of a Czech tragic mulatta—that exposes a slippage in Czech racial homogeneity and epitomizes the racial anxieties of Czechs. This figure, a reincarnation of Viktorka’s [Božena Nemcová’s fictional character’s] drowned baby, points to a line of Czech tragic female fictional characters who dared to love “the dark other,” whom the Czech society has, historically, linked with evil. The paper thus points to and makes the first step in a new direction for black (and Czech) feminist literary studies: a search for and an investigation into what happened to Viktorka’s drowned baby and its many reincarnations.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v4n2a1