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2018 | 65 | 3 | 207 – 218

Article title



Title variants

František Švantner´s novel Dáma/The Lady

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The goal of the paper is to give an interpretatory analysis of the novel Dáma/The Lady (1948) by František Švantner. The first part of the paper deals with the issue of authenticity of the subject matter in this piece of fiction. Traditionally, it is regarded as the literary rendition of Švantner´s friend Anton Kúdelka´s experiences from the times of the occupation of Poland in 1939. Based on the research into Kúdelka´s personal military records and the deployment of the military units in the given period of time, the paper makes a correction to the literary historical tradition stating that the town Zakopane was the real setting of the depicted events; Anton Kúdelka did not serve in Zakopane. The paper then focuses on the literary techniques used in Dáma, which have not been examined sufficiently despite the rich literary reflection on Švantner´s works (with reference to the knowledge of the most prominent experts on Švantner´s works, especially Števček, Kuzmíková). There is a discrepancy between the proclaimed authenticity of the narration and the stylistic rendition of this intention, the antithetical connection of the contrasting images created by means of poetic language as well as the „false trace“ narration technique and the alternation of the passages featuring subjective and objective tones. These techniques play part in building the drama of the novella and support the expressive style, which proves that the style in this piece of fiction is related to previous Švantner´s production and the line of lyric prose. In the end, the paper offers an interpretation of the novella title; the lady as: the protagonist, the social status, the irony of the common understanding of this word, a game (draughts), a chess piece (queen) and a figure in the hands of the evil. The contribution of the paper lies in revealing the literary historical distortion related to the original subject matter and in presenting the in-depth analysis of Švantner´s literary techniques used in the novella Dáma having the ambition to enrich the Švantnerological literary historical corpus.







207 – 218

Physical description


  • Katedra slovenského jazyka a literatúry, Pedagogická fakulta Trnavskej university, Priemyselná 4, 918 43 Trnava, Slovak Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


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