Machar, Josef Svatopluk (yôˈzĕf sväˈtôplŏk mäˈkhär) [key], 1854–1942, Czech poet and essayist. A leader of the realist movement in Czech poetry and a master of colloquial Czech, Machar was active in anti-Austrian political circles in Vienna. Many of his poems were satires of political and social conditions. In the poetic cycle The Conscience of the Ages (1901–21), of which Golgotha was the initial volume, he contrasted antique with Christian civilization, favoring the former. His Magdalena (1894, tr. 1916), a satirical novel in verse, concerns the oppression of women. Both Machar's use of colloquial diction and his brilliantly expressed skepticism greatly influenced Czech literature and public opinion.
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