• Briefly about author

    Jana Bodnárová is one of the most original Slovak prose writers of the middle generation and her work has an important place in the Slovak post-modern scene. Her short story debut, An
    Jana Bodnárová is one of the most original Slovak prose writers of the middle generation and her work has an important place in the Slovak post-modern scene. Her short story debut, An Affair of the Mind, still mostly has the character and structure of classic prose with precisely drawn characters and specific historic-social surroundings, but stories such as Invasion or Enticement move away from the confines of realistic narration, crossing its boundaries in a direction in which one can easily and exactly "slide down to the secrets of life" or allow oneself to be carried away by the mysticism of nature. The story Sad Waltz is composed of filmic images and thus becomes the starting point for Bodnárová's "poetics of visualisation" which, together with formal experiment, with mixing genres or using several genres within the boundaries of the same text, becomes the characteristic attribute of several of he books written in the late Nineties. She used formal experiment as far back as 1987, when she wrote The Sleeping City, a play based on the painting of the surrealist painter Paul Delvaux, and later in the epic poem Terra Nova. They were published by a private press in 1991 and for Bodnárová they have been - consiidering the literary work at the end of the Eighties - "an escape from the territory of rational objectivity to the territory of rational subjectivity, in content and expression". An important influence on her subsequent prose is her fascination with the post-modern in visual art. Subjective and suggestive stories on a giant screen with a hint of the mythological, the archetypal, which are at the same time able to express something about the new human sensibility at the end of the twentieth century. It is the effort to record this new sensibility in her stories, although often only in a fragmentary form, in hints, at the edge of reality and dream, often 'coldly', as if with the uninvolved eye of a camera , that has become the characteristic mark of her books From the Diaries of Ida V, Lightninglight / lightningdark and The Veiled Woman. Her book 2 Roads consists of a cycle Walking in Time and a cycle of prose miniatures Walking on Splinters of Glass shows on the one hand the "conventional" form of Bodnárová's prose: a realistic tale, rich in dialogue, characters situated in specific concrete and historical and social time and place (the Fifties to the Nineties, offering a compact view of our most recent history) and on the other hand "walking in space" where the tales present only disconnected fragments of notes, fragments of experience which do not create a continuous plot line and are the author's comment on the isolation in human destiny. After presenting these two prose routes, in her most recent book, The Shadows of Ferns (a story of a journalist who chooses to photograph a dying forest and on her journey she evokes a childhood in both its fantastic and realistic dimensions), Bodnárová has instead of fictional sketches, lyrical miniatures or story citations preferred a hard-headed, full-blooded expressively composed and sharp-edged tale with the protagonists and their destinies almost novelistically mixed and composed for a compact, meaningful and appealing tale for readers. Bodnárová has designed her stories for children at the edge of reality and fantasy, she has written them in a language leavened by a warm humour and enriched with a secret. The Scattered Beads, The Girl in the Tower and Barbora's Cinema are an original contribution to the genre of the fairy tale in the Slovak literature of the nineties. The original and remarkable prose work of Jana Bodnárová are already a permanent contribution to modern Slovak literature.
    Show all
  • Briefly about production

    poetry: Terra nova (1991), WH-IS-PERS (ŠE-PO-TY, 1995), Gemini (Blíženci, 2000) - song texts published under the name of Johanna Blum, Almost Invisible (Takmer
    poetry:
    Terra nova (1991), WH-IS-PERS (ŠE-PO-TY, 1995), Gemini (Blíženci, 2000) - song texts published under the name of Johanna Blum, Almost Invisible (Takmer neviditeľná, 2008) 

    prose:
    An Affair of the Mind (Aféra rozumu, 1990. awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize), The Invisible Sphinx (Neviditeľná sfinga, 1991), From the Diaries of Ida V. (Z denníkov Idy V. 1993), Lightninglight / lightningdark (Bleskosvetlo / bleskotma, 1996), The Veiled Woman (Závojovaná žena, 1996), 2 Roads (2 cesty, 1999), The Shadows of Ferns (Tiene papradia, 2002)

    work for children and young people:
    Scattered Beads (Roztrhnuté korálky, 1995), The Girl from the Tower (Dievčatko z veže, 1999), Little, Bigger, Still Bigger (Malí, väčší, ešte väčší, 2000), Barbora's Cinema (Barborkino kino, 2001), What I Have Seen by the Lake (Čo som videla pri jazere, 2003, a joint authorship with a designer Juraj Bartuzs), Galloping Horses (Koníky v cvale, 2009),  

    work for radio:
    The loneliness of Two Rooms (Osamelosť dvoch izieb, 1990), Interview (1992), The Silence of Emily D. (Mlčanie Emilky D. 1993 - a play for children), The Old Man and the Computer Boy (Starec a počítačový chlapec,1995 - a play for children), Daffodil (Narciska, 1996 - a play for young people), Dancing in a Circle (Tancovanie v kruhu, 1998), The Case (Prípad, 2000), She (Ona, 2002, monodrama) 

    work for television:
    Sad Waltz (Smutný valčík, 1997), Fragments from a Small Town (Fragmenty z malomesta, 2000), Insomnia (Insomnia, 2005)  

    theatrical work:
    The Sleeping City (Spiace mesto, 1987 - one act play after the painting by Paul Delvaux , staged during The Days of Experimental Theatre in the Ukrainian National Theatre), The Sleeping City, Capricorn, Legs (Spiace mesto, Kozoroh, Nohy, 1990 - one act plays, published by a private press), SATURDAY NIGHT (SOBOTNÁ NOC, 2000 - in the collection 'Drama 2000'), SATURDAY NIGHT (SOBOTNÁ NOC, 2003, Divadlo A. Duchnovica, Prešov) 

    video performances (presentations):
    Listening to Voices (Počúvanie hlasov - Video journal, BARLA, Nitra 1996, Prague 1997, Šariš Gallery, Prešov 1996 - author's evening), Where Is What Has Not Come? (Transart Communication, Nové Zámky 1996), Mon coeur est un violon (Transart Communication, Nové Zámky [literary section] 1997), Where Is What Has Not Come? (Festival of the feminist magazine Aspect, the Majerník Gallery, Bratislava, 1997), Listening to Voices (An Evening of Aspect, Stoka Theatre, Bratislava, 1998), Listening to Voices (avant-garde films and videos from central europe, Lux centre, London 1998, and the Balázs Béla Stúdió - Toldi mozi, Budapest, 1999), Mon coeur est un violon (Author's evening, Cultural centre, Łodz, Poland, 1998), Mon coeur est un violon, 3 haiku for video (Author's evening, Zamek Ujazdowski, cinema auditorium, Warsaw, 1999), Nasty Cake, We Come from the Same Earth (International Festival of Women's Video Art on the Theme of the Construction of Destruction, Novi Sad, Serbia, 2000)

    work translated into foreign languages:
    Lightninglight / lightningdark (1998, Polish), Daffodil (radio play, 1997, English), Dancing in a Circle (1999, English), Lantern Parade (stage play, 2001, English),The Little Girl from the Tower, an extract in Italian and English (Dievčatko z veže, úryvok po anglicky a taliansky, 2009)

    Extract from her prose works (literary journal Tratti, 2011, Italian)

    Show all
  • Biography for author

    She was born 21 June in Jakubovany. From 1965 to 1968 she studied at the Secondary General Educational School in Liptovský Mikuláš and from 1968 to 1976 she studied the History of
    She was born 21 June in Jakubovany. From 1965 to 1968 she studied at the Secondary General Educational School in Liptovský Mikuláš and from 1968 to 1976 she studied the History of Art (for a while also Book Science and Latin). After her studies she worked for than ten years as an archivist in preserving artistic-historical relics in Prešov and wrote articles and studies on contemporary creative art. From the beginning of the nineties she has devoted herself almost exclusively to creative work and presenting video performances in domestic galleries and experimental theatres also abroad (the Lux Centre in London, 1998, The Cultural Centre in Łodz , 1998, the Balázs Béla Studio in Budapest, 1999, Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, 1999, the International festival of Women's Video in Novi Sad 2000, Serbia). She lives in Prešov.
    Show all
  • Works and reviews of works

    Prose

    • Aféra rozumu (1990)
    • Neviditeľná sfinga (1991)
    • Z denníkov Idy V. (1993)
    • Tagtägliche Unendlichkeit. Slowakische Erzählungen (1994, antológia)
    • Bleskosvetlo / Bleskotma (1996)
    • Závojovaná žena (1996)
    • 2 cesty (1999)
    • Tiene papradia (2002, 1.issue)
    • Insomnia (2005, 1.issue)
    • Miniromány / Mininovels (2009, 1.issue)
    • Päť x päť / Five x Five (2011, 1.issue)
    • Náhrdelník/Obojok (2016)

    Poetry

    • Terra nova (1991)
    • ŠE - PO - TY (1995)
    • Blíženci (2000, 2000, piesňové texty vydané pod menom Johanna Blum)
    • Z periférií (2013, 1.issue)
    • v záhradách / pod dronmi (2016, 1.issue)
    • Uprostred noci sa chcem ísť prejsť (2017, 1.issue)

    Essay

    • O strome, ktorý bol na ceste / The tree which came from afar (2006, 1.issue)

    Drama

    • Spiace mesto (1987, 1987 – jedoaktovka podľa obrazu P. Delvauxa, uvedená v rámci Dní experimentálneho divadla v Ukrajinskom národnom divadle v Prešove)
    • Spiace mesto, Kozoroh, Nohy (1990, 1990 – jednoaktovky, vyšli ako privátna tlač)
    • Sobotná noc (2003, 2003, Divadlo A. Duchnovica, Prešov)

    For children and youth

    • Roztrhnuté korálky (1995)
    • Dievčatko z veže (1999)
    • Malí, väčší, ešte väčší (2000)
    • Barborkino kino (2001)
    • Čo som videla pri jazere. Was ich am See zu sehen bekam (2003, 1.issue)
    • Izba snov (2009, 1.issue)
    • Koníky v cvale (2009, 1.issue)
    • Všetky pekné baby sú blondínky (2010, 1.issue)
    • Adela, neopováž sa! (2011, 1.issue)
    • Trinásť (2012, 1.issue)
    • Dita, 30 mušiek svetlušiek a iné príbehy (2014, 1.issue)
    • Jednozubý úsmev (2015, 1.issue)

    Literature

    • Moja prvá galéria (2005, 1.issue)
    • Takmer neviditeľná (2008, 1.issue)

    Literary science

    • Ako sa číta báseň (Dvadsaťsedem autorských interpretácií) (2013, 1.issue)
    • Čas a (bez)čas (2017, 1.issue)

    Scenáristika

    • Smutný valčík (1997)
    • Fragmenty z malomesta (2000)
    • Insomnia (2005)

    Radio production

    • Osamelosť dvoch izieb (1990)
    • Interview (1992)
    • Mlčanie Emilky D. (1993, 1993, hra pre deti)
    • Starec a počítačový chlapec (1995, 1995, hra pre deti)
    • Narciska (1996, 1996, hra pre mládež)
    • Tancovanie v kruhu (1998)
    • Prípad (2000)
    • Ona (2002, 2002, monodráma)

    Other

    • Punčka iz stolpa (2013, 1.issue)
  • Works published with support from SLOLIA

  • About author

    Each book by Jana Bodnárová is different , individual, atypical, and this despite the fact that ever since her debut with An Affair of the Mind we can find in her prose
    Each book by Jana Bodnárová is different , individual, atypical, and this despite the fact that ever since her debut with An Affair of the Mind we can find in her prose "a delicate, miniature secret" which was and is "for the mind the kernel in a hard", "wanton fantasy", "a demanding imagination tautly braced", mixing reality with irreality. Jana Bodnárová describes beings hypersensitively as if "from a different time, a time of their own" and sometimes from an unknown space, beings closed within their own time as in a snail's shell. Although in her latest book, Lightninglight / lightningdark, we feel a stronger pressure of external reality on the so called internal reality, reality always simply creates the backdrop for stories of the new sensibility (for example, in the form of news from the radio). The protagonists in Bodnárová's texts are often in tragic conflict with society - in such a way she points at an inability to achieve complete internal harmony or freedom in the world which is more and more aggressive.
    Marta Součková

    Bodnárová's prose shows certain external indications of the post-modern (fragmentariness, signification, a mixed time line, inserting subtexts in different or foreign languages, a lack of linearity, kaleidoscopical narration), but I perceive her protagonists as "inconsistently post-modern": they carry within themselves a desire for a great secret wholeness, for harmony and regularity, for firm points of reference, supports ...
         Illusion, fiction, imagination are inseparable from the "real" life of Bodnárová's protagonists, the gap between them is sometimes so small that often the protagonists perceive their life as a film - and on the other hand, film becomes for them more real than life itself.Etela Farkašová

    Literature for children and young people has its own rules. Its undeniable part is poetry and mystery. This aspect is fortunately well demonstrated in Jana Bodnárová's Scattered Beads. It is her debut in children's literature. I have to say immediately that it is a success. Paulínka's story describes the problem of a child's getting to know the world and the growth of new feelings and emotions which are connected with that process. One feels the presence of two dominant contrasts - the joy of knowledge and the awakening of fear ... The whole book is warmed and inspired with love. It is characterised by a profound understanding and identification with the miraculous fantasy of a child's world.

    Show all
  • Author about himself

    I've never written - except in my book of poems 'WH-IS-PERS' - openly about myself, which means that I've never used exterior stories from private life. This I'd rather keep
    I've never written - except in my book of poems 'WH-IS-PERS' - openly about myself, which means that I've never used exterior stories from private life. This I'd rather keep closed, protected. But my emotional attitudes, a certain "colour of my soul", are projected into my texts. Sometimes I use them in a form that can confuse the reader a little. On the other hand - in the most bizarre stories I always use "atoms" from reality, from fragments, seen, overheard, experienced. These I have "wrapped" inside myself and unwrapped in a changed form in the text which is then wrapped up and unwrapped by readers according to the structure of their personality.
    Show all
  • Awards

    Ivan Krasko Prize for An Affair of the Mind, 1990
    Premium of the Association of Organisations of Writers of Slovakia (AOSS) for From the Diaries of Ida V. , 1993