• Pseudonym

    Ivan Krasko, Janko Cigáň, Bohdana J. Potokinová
  • Briefly about author

    Ivan Krasko is one of the founders of modern Slovak lyric poetry, a leading representative of the Slovak Modern movement, Slovak symbolism, and a significant poet of European symbolism. In later verse
    Ivan Krasko is one of the founders of modern Slovak lyric poetry, a leading representative of the Slovak Modern movement, Slovak symbolism, and a significant poet of European symbolism. In later verse he aptly called his poems "snivels of
    a naked soul". From his early poems published in periodicals, he explored song-like lyric poetry stripped of privatissimo, poems of sad harmony arising from an unfulfilled, one-sided love affair, from the feeling of fated delay, wasted opportunities and disappointed expectations. With the collection Nox et solitido he directed Slovak poetry towards man`s internal problems. Its title, meaningfully associating night and solitude, provides the basic characteristic of the lyrical subject` situation. A night setting is characteristic of only some of the poems. More often they take place during the day, but the days are almost all foggy, rainy and grey, and therefore resemble the night in some way. The night is not merely a time, but also
    a symbol. Krasko`s solitude is not individualistic, but solidary - the lyrical subject is recognized through his sin towards God, and his destitute "kneading". The solitude is caused by the breakdown of relationships, mainly with women, and isolation from home. The poems have the ordinary nature of sentimental dramas. Frustration at others and at himself leads to a feeling of loss of perspective, while the lyrical subject shows his openness towards others. Krasko pays special attention to the thematisation of the mysteries of the human psyche, relationships and existence. He is also frustrated by the nation`s national and social situation. An important source of the subject`s plight is his own passivity. Some poems show signs of a change of subject. His second collection Verse leaves behind night and solitude and breaks their cycle. With great intensity Krasko thematises the conflict between an urgently felt need for faith as an existential certainty and its failings. Here we see a struggle between scepticism and the awareness of a moral responsibility towards man, also reflected in the postulation of the need for thought and understanding. The main source of the change in subject is a woman. Krasko`s poetry is characterized by traces of symbolism which can be seen through its imagery, sound and punctuation, and euphonic verse which significantly contributed to the creation of semantic poems. In the context of European symbolism, Krasko is a poet of the Verlaine type. However, in contrast to Verlaine, intellect and awareness of solidarity with "the poor and humble" play a greater role.
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  • Briefly about production

    poetry: Nox et solitudo (1909), Verse (Verše, 1912) prose (under the nom de plume Bohdana J. Potokinová): Ours (Naši, 1907, novellas), Sentimental Incidents
    poetry:
    Nox et solitudo (1909), Verse (Verše, 1912)

    prose (under the nom de plume Bohdana J. Potokinová):
    Ours (Naši, 1907, novellas), Sentimental Incidents (Sentimentálne príhody 1 a 2, 1908, novellas), A Letter to a Dead Man (List mŕtvemu, 1911, novella). The collection of poems, Nenogista roze, published in 2011 in Latvian contains also selected poems by him. 

    collected works:
    Collected Works of Ivan Krasko (Súborné dielo Ivana Krasku 1, 1966; 2, 1993), contains original poetry, prose, translations, etc.

    TRANSLATIONS BY THE AUTHOR
    Shadows on the Picture of Time, 1956 (anthology of Romanian poetry), and two works by R. Dehmel

    WORKS TRANSLATED
    Krasko`s poems have been published abroad in translation in various anthologies.
    Selected Poems (1957 Hungarian)
    Nox et solitudo. Verse (1958 Czech, 1979 Polish)
    Black Candle (1996 Ukrainian, selected poems)

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  • Biography for author

    His real name was Ján Botto. Born 12 July 1876 in Lukovištia. He studied at the Hungarian gymnasium in Rimavská Sobota, at the German gymnasium in Sibiu and at the Romanian one in
    His real name was Ján Botto. Born 12 July 1876 in Lukovištia. He studied at the Hungarian gymnasium in Rimavská Sobota, at the German gymnasium in Sibiu and at the Romanian one in Brashov (both in today`s Romania). Then he studied chemical engineering in Prague from 1900 to 1905. He worked as an engineer at the sugar factory in Klobuky near Prague (he wrote much of his poetry there) and at the chemical plant in Slaný. He enlisted in 1914; after returning from the war at the end of 1918 he applied to serve the newly established Czechoslovak Republic, and became a member of parliament, then a senator. He lived in Bratislava, retired in 1938, and moved to Piešťany in 1943. Krasko died 3 March 1958 in Bratislava.
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  • Works and reviews of works

    Prose

    • Naši (1907, 1907, časopisecky, pod menom Bohdana J. Potokinová)
    • Sentimentálne príhody 1, 2 (1908)
    • List mŕtvemu (1911)

    Poetry

    • Nox et solitudo (1909)
    • Verše (1912)
    • Súborné dielo Ivana Krasku 1 (1966)
    • 2 (1993, 1993, ed. Michal Gáfrik, obsahuje pôvodnú poéziu, prózu, preklady a i.)
    • Básnické dielo (2005, 1.issue)
  • Works published with support from SLOLIA

  • About author

    He brought poetry full of personal things, resulting from a persona lity split, a gulf between our fathers` faith and the age of scientific opinion, between the acceptance of positive forces and
    He brought poetry full of personal things, resulting from a persona lity split, a gulf between our fathers` faith and the age of scientific opinion, between the acceptance of positive forces and scepticism, between the trusting and the tormented heart. Because of passionate intellect, he was a personality who did not wish to conceal this gulf. In this poetry the patriot is taken over by a man, an "internal" man, for whom the nation`s affairs take a back seat, for whom reflection, meditation, the muses, are central, who persistently struggles with himself, his own irrational existence, analysis and self-analysis.
    Alexander Matuška

    Ivan Krasko arrived to replace Hviezdoslav. To overcome this massif, this mountain of poetry, with its unresisting columns, was no easy task. Krasko performed it in
    a way that reformed values, relaxed spasm and cramp in relation to poetry and the nation. This cramp had probably evolved as part of literature`s long struggle for the nation`s existence. He simplified nothing, yet nevertheless eased this relationship. He opened poetry to the individual in a way so captivating, that as though by the turn of a key, the individual opened to poetry. This is a significant gesture, a shift to 20 th century poetry. Krasko is therefore the first Slovak poet whom even the modern reader reads as his own, identifying with his poetry without a literary, historical or personal distance.

    Milan Rúfus

    Krasko`s work withdraws into the past. It is interesting to see him on this visionary journey: he becomes perhaps less urgent, his dramatism particularly charms young readers.

    Štefan Strážay

    Krasko`s work has become a criterion of Slovak poetry itself. Krasko also attracts as an author who significantly depicted man`s situation at the turn of the 20 th century, and we, too, are experiencing the next turn of the century... The poet approaches us by depicting the human psyche in a modern way, by depicting the inner world of the individual, relationships with others, their mysteries, the secret of human existence and existence in general, by his vision of national existence, society, by his anti-narrow-mindedness, by introducing and uncovering deep problems, by his restless analyses and awareness of human commitments.

    Ján Zambor

     

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