Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Waves- Contemporary Women’s Writing in Slovakia

Contemporary Women’s Writing in Slovakia

Twenty-five years after the Velvet Revolution and over two decades since its “velvet divorce” from its bigger brother, the Czech Republic, in 1992, Slovakia—a country with a population of just over five million—still remains largely unknown outside Central Europe. Unlike its former sibling, it has yet to produce authors who have become household names abroad. Except for ice-hockey championships, the country rarely makes international headlines, though it did recently with the spectacular launch of the James-Bond-worthy flying car. Many people still confuse Slovakia with Slovenia, another small central European country; some refer to its cities as Czech, and, most annoyingly, even some who have known me for years believe that since I was born in Czechoslovakia, my native language must be Czech.
Of course it's quite a complicated story: although very close to Czech (as well as to Polish—all three belong to the West Slavic language family), Slovak is in being in a distinct language environment with its own traditions, culture, and literature. Because Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary for many centuries, it lacks the long and illustrious literary tradition of the Czechs and the Poles; its writers used Latin or Czech until 1843, when Slovak was established as a written language during the "national revivals" that shook much of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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