After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and the collapse of the communist regime, the three streams of literature fused into one and all literature was official. The book market began to repay a publishing debt by releasing literary works that had been banned for the preceding four decades.
This included, for instance, avant-garde writings, Western literature, spiritual and Christian writings, and a new generation of writers began to make its mark. Read more about the years 1948–1989 on the web CzechLit. Commercial pressures again became a factor in literature and some writers made concessions to reader popularity. Several basic trends gradually took hold in prose fiction. The post-modernist wave, the post-modern poetics of nonsense and wordplay, comical post-modernist approach, and fantasy and mythology.
Since the early 1990s, poetry has been marked by two main tendencies pulling it in different directions: one is inward-looking and in-depth in its focus; the other is outward-looking, harks back to the avant-garde, and is richly imaginative and provocative to an extent. The former tendency characterises catholic poetry, which over time has been growing more allusive and is coming to resemble informal poetry and the poetry of the everyday. The second tendency is embodied by the surrealists and the artists who create ‘imaginative poetry’, experimental poets, and wordplay. Read more about contemporary Czech poetry on CzechLit.
The literature of the new millennium
The literature of the new millennium explores themes set in other cultures and reflections on the past. The frequent literary themes are the Second World War, Czech-German issues, communism, and the normalisation period is now also being taken up as a subject. The work reflects on society and the position of the individual within it while exploring the intimate sides of life. Read more about Czech prose since 1989.
The Czech Literary Centre
The main institutional role has The Czech Literary Centre, a state-funded organisation supporting and promoting Czech literature abroad and in the Czech Republic. The Centre promotes literature, acts as an information hub for foreign specialists and others interested in Czech literature, provides grants and residencies, runs the bilingual website CzechLit and holds the annual Susanna Roth Award for young translators of Czech literature.