MARTIN KUKUČÍN – „VYHNANEC A PESIMISTA“
Martin Kukučín – „Outcast and pessimist“
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Building on the stimuli from ontological genre theory and thematology, the study reconstructs the autobiographical line of Martin Kukučín´s work and, in a wider sense, defines the writer´s semiotic gesture present in the whole of his work. The line in question is represented by the marginalized writings, shorter in size and vaguely recognized (sketches, short stories, columns), which were not exposed to interpretation so much. Besides the „children´s“ proses, they include „retrospective“ proses, the sketch Na obecnom salaši (At the Village Sheep Farm, 1887), the novella Vianočné oblátky (Christmas Wafers, 1890), the short story Tichá voda (Quiet Water, 1892), which thematize the motifs of becoming „estranged“ (O. Čepan) or realizing the „bitterness of half-blooded status“ of a man who is a peasant by origin and an intellectual by education. The last group within the autobiographical line comprises the Prague-related proses, which present Kukučín as a confident city author, whose relationship with the environment is very specific. The central motifs of the writings – melancholy and nostalgia – show the situation of the modern era subject, typical of which is an unanchored individual, the loss of support, the disappearing world of the traditional, archaic values, and the response to the intrusion of the modern era into people´s lives. There are various passages and layers of his work where he discloses the defining moment of the essential certainties of human life (family, background, tradition) being undermined, but it is not a catastrophe moment, rather an argument, which also stems from the natural course of events, an argument of life. In conclusion, the analysed texts cast light on the distinctive attitude in Kukučín´s writing style, and definitely prove that he was the kind of author who thematized human existence full of contradictions at the dawn of modern era with confidence. Thematizing lonely feelings, being cut off roots and losing the original world integrity expressed in the motifs of melancholy and nostalgia, which gave rise to his creative activity.
324 – 342
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