By Peter Petro
A survey of the historical past of Slovak literature from the center a while to the current. The medieval, Renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, realist and smooth sessions are highlighted as are contributions of writers like Hronsky, Kollar, Papanek, Rufus, Safarik, Transovshy, Tatarka and Zaborsky.
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Additional info for A History of Slovak Literature
At this point, Pilarik interrupts the dramatic account to make a biblical digression on the arrest of Jesus. This, of course, is not simply literary technique - it is the way that a Christian pastor would think, given the circumstances - but it is used throughout the epic poem. Each indignity, each example of suffering, immediately evokes a biblical counterpart that not only adds meaning to Pilarik's suffering, but makes it easier for him to survive. The poem provides a horrifying account of the seemingly irrational bestiality of the Turks, who were behaving abominably to the women.
Travelogues are a common form (one example is a description by Jan Dernschwan, from Banska Bystrica, of his trip to Constantinople in 1553). Philosophy, history, law, linguistics, literary theory - all find their authors in this age. Of particular interest are two authors: Jan Jessenius (1566-1621) and Vavrinec Benedikt Nedozersky (1555-1615), also known as Nedozerinus or Benedicti. Jessenius, a rector of Charles University in Prague, became famous for performing the first autopsy in Bohemia. He was executed in 1621, after the defeat of the Czech cause at the Battle of the White Mountain, which brought in the Hapsburg rule that lasted until 1918.
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.
A History of Slovak Literature by Peter Petro