Slovak Tales for Young and Old: Pavol Dobsinsky in English and Slovak

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9780865165311: Slovak Tales for Young and Old: Pavol Dobsinsky in English and Slovak

This collaborative work showcases to the English-speaking world Slovak folk tales by Pavol Dobsinky and 15 color and 50 black and white reproductions of Slovak artist Martin Benka. The book is bilingual, with English translations in front and the original Slovak version in the back of the book.

Slovak Tales for Young and Old is the first translation into English of these stories, representative of Slovak oral tradition, collected and written by Pavol Dobsinsky, as well as a new edition of Dobsinksy in modern Slovak. The book is also the debut of the Slovak artist Martin Benka into the English-speaking world.

Also available:

Illustrated Slovak History: A Struggle for Sovereignty in Central Europe - ISBN 0865164266
Images Gone With Time : Photographic Reflections of Slovak Folk Life (1950-1965) - ISBN 0865164363

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About the Author:

Pavol Dobsinsky (1828 - 1885), foremost Slovak writer of the nineteenth century, is renowned as a poet, pastor, teacher, and editor. Dobsinsky is responsible for capturing Slovak oral tradition. culminating in the publication between 1880 and 1883 of the eight volume Popular Slovak Folk Tales, considered a Slovakian national treasure.

Illustrator Martin Benka (1888), is a famous Slovak painter and recipient of the Martin Benka Prize, given annually to artists by the Slovak Republic.

Peter Strelinger is a member of the Slovak Writers Association and has authored over a dozen books in Slovak.

Dr. Lucy Bednar is a Slovak-born American with a PhD in English. She is currently in Slovakia at Comenius University on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The fifteen Slovak folk fairy tales contained in this collection are a genuine treasure for anyone interested in the documentation of culture, or simply in the pure pleasure of reading a good story. The tales were collected by Slovak scholar and cultural researcher Pavol Dobsinsky, a man of many dimensions, including poet, pastor, teacher, editor, and translator, who lived from 1828 to 1885 in that part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that would become the present-day Slovak Republic. His life-long interest in folk culture culminated in the publication of the eight-volume Popular Slovak Folk Tales. Published between 1880 and 1883, this work is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Slovak folk fairy tales in existence. It set a standard of excellence for future research, and it became an essential component in later studies of Slovak folklore. For the Slovak people, it is a national treasure.

Although the tales Dobsinksy collected have much in common with other European folk fairy tales, they are also uniquely Slovak. References to food (especially soup) and farming reflect the culture out of which they came, and the illustrations of the celebrated Slovak illustrator Martin Benka (1888-1971) capture the look and feel of a time long gone, especially in the characteristically Slovak clothing of the characters. But the tales also capture the more elusive qualities of Slovak culture, those that are hardest to articulate because they exist between the lines of description and dialogue and are ultimately the result of many details that intertwine and influence one another.

The tales chosen for this collection fall into three broad categories: traditional fairy tales, complete with magic spells, wicked stepmothers, multi-headed dragons, and fantastic journeys; animal tales, in which many of the principal characters are barnyard or forest creatures with human traits, including the ability to speak; and finally, what might be called folk tales, in which an ordinary individual is able to outwit a potential enemy, human or otherwise, and triumph in the end, sometimes quite by accident. Some of the tales incorporate elements of two or all three of these categories.

Folk tales and fairy tales appeal to me personally not only because the kid in me enjoys their magical and moral character, but also because the adult in me enjoys how they always say more than they seem to say and can be read on more than one level. Hence the title Slovak Tales for Young and Old.

(excerpt from the Introduction)

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