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The Literary Establishment

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Chapter Summary

In the socio-cultural context of 'normalised' Czechoslovakia, where achieving the appearance of a steady state of affairs was among the key goals of the establishment, it is the production and dissemination of literary texts in the narrower sense that served as one of the most publicly visible signs of this stability. Both the institutional framework and personnel, established in the early 1970s, served as a secure barrier that prevented major changes in book production and reception from occurring until the first half of the 1980s. The monopolisation of the book-related institutional network by a limited number of individuals was made possible not just by their managerial skills but also by the centralised infrastructure of the local media. One of the key features of the command system of book production, the warehouses overloaded with growing stocks of unsold books, became increasingly pressing.

Keywords: book production; Czechoslovakia; literary establishment



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