Show Less
Restricted access

Dominik Tatarka: the Slovak Don Quixote

(Freedom and Dreams)


Mária Bátorová

The book deals with the question of resistance to Soviet hegemony in Central Europe after 1968, when Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia. The political and cultural situation in the context of Central Europe is presented through the life and work of the Slovak dissident, the writer Dominik Tatarka, who signed Charta 77 immediately after Václav Havel. For the first time, the wider context of resistance to violence and to intellectual as well as material hegemony is explored here. Using the comparative method, this work considers historical, philosophical and sociological ramifications of this resistance. To understand the issues of dissent means to comprehend the alternative and parallel culture of the 20 th century. Thanks to this culture and the efforts of intellectuals in particular, the present-day relatively free conditions for creation and life in general were created. On the basis of the literary work and life of one of the Charta 77 signatories, Dominik Tatarka, this work addresses the topic of dissident literature. By the use of the comparative method Slovak literature is analysed alongside other literatures of Central Europe (e.g. the literature of Czech dissent Václav Havel, Ludvík Vaculík), as well as French (exploring the genetic connection between Dominik Tatarka and Albert Camus). This illustrates the wider context of the idea of freedom and free cultural values characterizing Tatarka’s work.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

2. Traces of “autobiography” in fiction (On the question of authenticity of an artistic work)



       Traces of “autobiography” in fiction

       (On the question of authenticity of an artistic work)

“To testify, this for me is a first-hand happening”.“For me writing is all about my own experience; writing is my self-awareness.”

Dominik Tatarka, Sám proti noci, p. 34, p. 97

“For me love is not a state, an association, a blessing – love is for me a creation, an expression. And so that I make myself clear in this regard, I have nothing – wood, stone, wealth, power – I have only words…”

Dominik Tatarka, Písačky pre milovanú Lutéciu, p. 266

An artistic work, in our case a text, provides a report about the author. The text bears symbols which retroactively assign the author to a literary current of the 20th century, to the modern or the postmodern. A completely specific text informs about the author, if the writer is concentrated on the self and retells or “rewrites” his world into a literary form, as Dominik Tatarka does in the works which I will deal with in this study. The authenticity then creates the bedrock of his literary work, in some places more and in others less evidently. The authenticity of the external contours of the author’s reality is not only granted to the reader by events taken directly from the life of the author. This exists with Tatarka, but it is not so significant. By the authenticity of...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.