The best of all worlds: Josef Lada’s fairy tale Kocour Mikeš as Czech idyll and novel of education
The article discusses Josef Lada’s very popular children’s book Kocour Mikeš [Mikeš, the cat] (1934–1936), which is still a part of Czech schools’ curriculum. The series was inspired by Lada’s own childhood as well as by “Puss in Boots” fairy tales. Lada had created his fairy tale by uniquely merging such literary genres as the idyll and the growing-up novel, and this
article addresses the genre specifics of his story. Also it examines double function of childhood in “Mikeš, the cat” as the motif and the source of inspiration. The article gives special attention to the thesis that Lada’s fairy tale is filled with nostalgia for his childhood’ rural world, and this feeling adds to popularity of his story in industrialized Czech.
Keywords: Czech children’s literature, Josef Lada, fairy tale, puss in boots, growing-up novel, idyll, childhood, autobiography