Dva varianty kolonizačního románu : obraz popřevratového Slovenska v zapomenutých románech Levoča (1926) a Nová země (1927)
Two varieties of the colonization novel : the image of post-revolutionary Slovakia in the forgotten novels Levoča (1926) and Nová země (A New Land, 1927)
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The primary objective of the present study was to carry out a comparative analysis of the texts of two novels (Levoča and Nová země) set in Slovakia at the time of the emergence of the new Czechoslovak Republic. The comparative approach is interwoven here with the discourse of post-colonialism and the theory of imagology. In the second half of the 1920s, Ladislav Narcis Zvěřina and Jan Václav Rosůlek created two quite distinct images of post-1918 Slovakia. Both texts amount to colonization novels, each providing a different image of the chaotic socio-political situation following the arrival of Czechs in Slovakia during the first months of the existence of the new republic. Zvěřina’s version is closely aligned to the tradition of the Czech Slovakophiles who had gradually come to know Slovakia and took a more emotional approach to the issue of Czech-Slovak relations. However, the reality of those early days collapses under the weight of a love affair, which is intended, through the metaphor of the family, to consolidate the fraternal bond between Czechs and Slovaks. Rosůlek treats the Slovakophile tradition with irony and detachment, which enables him to gain experience and cognizance of Slovakia via the intellect. The conflict between intellect and emotion in the evolution of Czech-Slovak relations reaches far back into the nineteenth century. Despite the differences between the underlying concepts, both authors offer a similar model of the common enemy, having regard to numerous earlier literary stereotypes rooted in the national self-image that came to be exploited in the new time-space context of the First Republic to furnish an updating of Czech- Slovak reciprocity. The study analyses the different concepts of nation as subjected to presentation in literature. Although each of the authors operates with different narrative standpoints and methods, both tend towards a common objective: support for and defence of the rationale behind the emergence of the Czechoslovak Republic.
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