2012 | 59 | 2 | 89 – 111
Article title


Title variants
Daughter of Sláva
Languages of publication
The study deals with one of the central motifs of Jan Kollár’s work Slávy dcera, namely with the history of the figure of Plaintive Sláva. Kollár derives the motif from Velius’s epistle entitled Querela Austriae (1527). Other content elements became associated with the Querela Hungariae topos: description of the country’s riches (‘fertilitas Hungariae’) and comparison of the happiness of earlier times with the misery of conditions in Kollár’s own day. His Latin-language didactic poem Deploratio praesentis status Hungariae proves that the author was familiar with the Querela Hungariae topos from his secondary-school years onwards. At the same time, in the Prologue to his Slávy dcera and in many of his sonnets, Kollár reinterpreted the topos according to the ideological requirements of the national movements of his time, changing Plaintive Hungary into Plaintive Sláva. In his Prologue to Slávy dcera, Kollár retained the metrical form of Latin didactic poetry (elegiac couplets), but at the same time refashioned it in accordance with the aesthetic demands of Classicism and Romanticism. In early 19th century literature there are some areas that attempt to depict a nation emblematically. Emblematic geography, ethnography, zoography, and phytography are investigated in this study. Through his works, in which famous mountain ranges (the Tatras, the Giant Mountains, the Urals), waters (the Danube, the Elbe, the Baltic Sea), cities (Prague, Moscow) are invested with surplus meaning Kollár contributed to the depiction of the Sláv (Czech and Slovak) nations. Together with their connotations, these places became parts of the modern national mythology. Works published by Kollár in the mid-1820s – Čítanka (‘A Reader’) and the 1824 edition of Slávy dcera – were like maps from the Age of Discovery on which the coastlines of newly discovered continents already featured but where the land within still featured as white space. In the 1832 edition of Slávy dcera and in the Explanations (Vysvetlivky) Kollár ‘populated’ the three continents where Slavs lived. With the help of emblematic national topography, he created an imaginary Slavic country which ignored the status quo then prevailing in Europe. Kollár reached his highest degree of sacralisation of the nation with two songs published in his 1832 edition of Slávy dcera. In these, which presented a Slavic Heaven and a Slavic Purgatory, he enriched the emblematic national geography with the dimension of the life to come. In his Cestopis (‘Travelogue’), he launched a linguistic, historical and cultural crusade for the re-conquest of Northern Italy as a Slavic Holy Land.
89 – 111
Physical description
  • Ústav slovenskej literatúry SAV, Konventná 13, 813 64 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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