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EVA SUSAN KUCEKOVA, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The main body of this work consists of a cross-section of Slovak sayings, songs, poems and folktales that have been translated from Slovak into English and made available to English-speaking readers for the first time. The pieces chosen for translation cover the long chronology of Slovak folklore--from ancient magical incantations and prognostications, through lyrical songs, proverbs and lengthier folktales, to the working-class and partisan songs and poems of twentieth century Slovakia. These materials have been drawn from collections of Melichercik and Dobsinsky. Although all aspects of life and nature are represented in the rich oral tradition of Slovakia, themes of love and marriage, health and successful agriculture are most prevalent, because of Slovakia's predominantly agrarian history and culture. Slovakia's political and social subjugation to other national groups, especially the Hungarians and the Turks, is another common theme in Slovak songs and poems, many of which appear in the present anthology. The translations are preceded by an introduction, which describes the historical, cultural and literary context of the works contained in the anthology. The special problems of translating mostly oral poetry and songs from regional or archaic Slovak into modern English defy easy solutions. The introductory section addresses the linguistic and poetic differences between the two languages, and explains how this translator has attempted to handle these differences. The introduction and footnotes draw attention as well to the more prominent aspects of the cultural gap between the traditions of rural Slovakia and those of America.

Subject Area

Slavic literature|Folklore

Recommended Citation

KUCEKOVA, EVA SUSAN, "SLOVAK FOLKLORE: AN ANTHOLOGY" (1982). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8210341.