In most contemporary historical writing the picture of modern life in Habsburg Central Europe is a gloomy story of the failure of rationalism and the rise of protofascist movements. This book tells a different story, focusing on the Czech writers and artists distinguished by their optimistic view of the world in the years before WWI.
"Ort sets out to explore Čapek's life, work, and intellectual background as well as the cultural life in Prague of the early twentieth century. ... There is no doubt the book is well-researched and sheds light on many aspects of cultural life in modern Prague. ... his analysis manages to capture how rich and intertwined the worlds of literature, philosophy, architecture, and the visual arts were in Prague in the first few decades of the twentieth century." (Marta Filipova, Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 48, 2017)
"Ort's text should be of interest to students not only of Slavic literature and history but of European modernism in general. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - CHOICE
"Thomas Ort is a pleasure to read... his writing is lucid and unpretentious." - Times Literary Supplement