Memory and History: A Comparison of the Past in Slovak Prose of the Post-2000 Period

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Vladimír Barborík

Abstract

This study focuses on how two kinds of memory: historical and personal are reflected in a section of Slovak literature of the past two decades. A variety of autobiographical genres and biographically-stylised fictional prose draw on personal memory, and history, is the domain of historical genres, particularly the novel. After the 1990s, the present was deemed important and historical presentations of the past were parodiedin the prose of Peter Pišťanek and Igor Otčenáš. At the beginning of the new millennium, however, prose portraying and reflecting on the past reappeared. Memory- based writing which is concerned with an individual situated within history, or outside of it, is more persuasive. Memory-based writing is used in different forms of autobiographical writing: within fiction it takes a form of biographical stylisation (e. g. Vilikovský, Kopcsay and Rozner). In the past ten to fifteen years, there has been a renewed interest in history in Slovak literature, mainly in pre-1989 history (e. g. Rankov, Krištúfek and Lavrík), which had been mistreated in pre-1989 Slovak literature, and later there was no interest in it or it was even rejected in the 1990s.During that time, historical memory was exploited to meet societal requirement. Silvester Lavrík was an exception—he was able to marry the two basic approaches to the past (personal history and historical) in a form of a dispute between them.

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How to Cite
Barborík, V. (2021). Memory and History: A Comparison of the Past in Slovak Prose of the Post-2000 Period. Porównania, 27(2), 77-99. https://doi.org/10.14746/por.2020.2.5
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Articles
Author Biography

Vladimír Barborík, Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava

Vladimír Barborík is Associate Professor; he graduated from the Faculty of Educationin Nitra in 1992 (in Slovak Literature and Philosophy). Since 1992, hehas worked at the Institute of Slovak Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciencesin Bratislava. His research focuses on interwar and post-war Slovak literature(published monographs: Pavel Hrúz, 2000; Prozaik Gejza Vámoš, 2006and Hľadanie rozprávača: Prózy Vincenta Šikulu, 2014 and post-war literary life (with P. Darovec Mladá tvorba 1956–1970–1996; Časopis po čase, 1996 and V. Petrík Pohyb k nehybnosti. Literárny život od začiatku 60. do konca 70. rokov objektívomAntona Šmotláka, 2018). He co-authored several books such as interviews with V. Petrík Hľadanie minulého času (2009). He was the editor of literary and cultural journals Dotyky, Kultúrny život, RAK a Slovenská literatúra. From 2008, he also teaches Slovak literature at the Catholic University in Ružomberok.E-mail: vladimir.barborik@savba.sk

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