NOVÁ POETIKA STARNÚCEHO MAJSTRA (MARTIN KUKUČÍN: SPOLOČENSKÉ PÔŽITKY)
New poetics of an aging master (Martin Kukučín: Social Pleasures)
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After his arrival in Slovakia in 1922, Martin Kukučín received a lukewarm welcome. He was completing his work titled Mať volá/Mother is calling and was spending his time in the archives preparing to write mid-19th century historical novels. The reserved attitude towards him and his whole work was fully revealed after his death in 1928. The most radical criticism of Kukučín´s prose was expressed by leftist writers but he was not spared by older critics either. Kukučín´s attempt at changing his poetics, which occurred in 1923, when he published a feature Spoločenské pôžitky/Social Pleasures in the magazine Slovenské pohľady, was labelled as formalistic and verbalistic. Nobody accepted the fact that his poetics had developed into a new stage of aesthetic maturity showing a clear ambition to overcome the realist means of expression. The prose Spoločenské pôžitky/Social Pleasures represents an exceptional experiment within Kukučín´s work. At the same time it is a playful intermedium lying between the ideological and philosophical novels mentioned above. Against a background of reflecting on the subject of an offence and revenge, the author formulates his opinions about fragile interpersonal relationships as well as timelessness of the moral imperative saying that no deed is left without consequences and everything has to be paid for. This aesthetic purpose is achieved by using sophisticated figures of speech, among which the use of synaesthesia as an anthropological phenomenon is particularly inventive. It links separated sensory domains in order to communicate with the world by means of cognitive and sensual abilities.
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