A History of Slovak Literature by Peter Petro

By Peter Petro

A survey of the historical past of Slovak literature from the center a long time to the current. The medieval, Renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, realist and sleek classes are highlighted as are contributions of writers like Hronsky, Kollar, Papanek, Rufus, Safarik, Transovshy, Tatarka and Zaborsky.

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After his liberation, Simonides and his friend Masnik (another author of memoirs) tour the great Italian cities and return home via Switzerland and Germany. Other sections are devoted to Naples, Rome, and Venice. In Rome, Simonides visits the ancient ruins and provides a detailed description of the Basilica of St Peter. Writing of his sea voyage, Simonides makes numerous digressions, which, somehow, do not interrupt the narrative of his travels. This is yet another memoir in which the author digests and recasts his material in what he considers to be a "literary" manner: lyricism and passion rescue this type of writing from being a mere catalogue of places and events.

POETRY In addition to religious poetry, already firmly established as a genre, secular poetry appears more frequently during the Baroque period. In Protestant poetry, a major role was played by a new edition (1674) of Tranovsky's Cithara sanctorum, which featured a promising number of Slovak songs. Among the important Slovak songwriters included were Caspar Motesicky (1651-89), Jan Kromholc (d. 1683), Adam Plintovic and Jeremias Lednicky (between 1633 and 1706), Juraj Zabojnfk (1608-72), and, particularly, Daniel Sinapius-Horcicka, Sr (1640-88), who wrote emotionally charged and nostalgic songs, expressing the essential feelings of Baroque man.

Janosik A separate chapter would be needed to explore fully the Janosik myth, or legend. Despite his many detractors among critics and historians, the myth bears all the signs of longevity and vitality. Juraj Janosik, a thief - or, rather, a brigand - was executed by hanging on a hook in 1713. " And with these words Janosik is said to have jumped on the hook himself, spurning the chance of an imperial pardon and army service instead of execution. Or so says the legend. There is in Slovak poetry of the Baroque period an entire corpus of "Janosik poems," as well as an early-eighteenth-century "Song of Janosik," which celebrates robbery of the Janosik kind: taking from the rich in order to help the poor, in Robin Hood fashion.

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