Foto © Lucia Gardin
Foto © Lucia Gardin



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Nevybavená záležitosť / Unsettled Business - 2013
Nevybavená záležitosť / Unsettled Business - 2013



  • Translating from

    English
    Russian Language
  • Briefly about author

    Jana Juráňová studied Russian and English at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. She has worked as a literary adviser for the Trnava theatre, as deputy
    Jana Juráňová studied Russian and English at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. She has worked as a literary adviser for the Trnava theatre, as deputy editor-in-chief  for the journal Slovenské pohľady (1991-1993), commentator for Radio Free Europe and as an editor for several book projects, etc. In 1993 she worked with others to launch a feminist cultural, educational and publishing project, Aspekt, which she still coordinates. Her different works have been translated into English, German, Hungarian, Slovene and Swedish.
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  • Works and reviews of works

    Prose

    • Zverinec / Menagerie (1994)
    • Siete / Nets (1996)
    • Utrpenie starého kocúra / The Ordeal of an Old Tomcat (2000)
    • Orodovnice / Mediatrices (2006, 1.issue)
    • Žila som s Hviezdoslavom / My Life with Hviezdoslav (2008, 1.issue)
    • Miniromány / Mininovels (2009, 1.issue)
    • Dobroš sa nemusí zastreliť / Dobroš Needn’t Shoot Himself (2010, 1.issue)
    • Lásky nebeské / Heavenly Loves (2010, 1.issue)
    • Žila som s Hviezdoslavom (2010, 2.issue)
    • Päť x päť / Five x Five (2011, 1.issue)
    • Utrpenie starého kocúra. Mor(t)alitka / The Ordeal of an Old Tomcat. A Mor(t)al Tale (2012)
    • Nevybavená záležitosť / Unsettled Business (2013, 1.issue)
    • Cudzie príbehy (2016, 1.issue)

    Drama

    • Salome (1989)
    • Téma Majakovskij / The Mayakovsky Theme (1989, unpublished)
    • Misky strieborné, nádoby výborné / Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels (2005, 1.issue, 1st edition, in the magazine Divadlo v medzičase June 1997)
    • Hry (2014, 1.issue)

    For children and youth

    • Iba baba / Only a Bird (1999, prose story for teenage girls)
    • Bubliny / Bubbles (2002)
    • Babeta ide do sveta / Babetta Goes out into the World (2003)
    • Ježibaby z Novej Baby / Witches from Newitch (2006, 1.issue)

    Editorial activities

    • Čítame slovenskú literatúru (1997)

    Other

    • Mojich 7 životov. Agneša Kalinová v rozhovore s Janou Juráňovou (2012, 1.issue)
  • Production description

     In her prose and drama works Jana Juráňová consistently and very successfully upsets the traditional gender stereotypes and Slovak myths and with a dose of healthy irony she tears
     In her prose and drama works Jana Juráňová consistently and very successfully upsets the traditional gender stereotypes and Slovak myths and with a dose of healthy irony she tears away the masks of prominent 19th century Slovak historical figures, contemporary pseudointellectuals and one-time dissidents. She openly expresses her opinions about the most burning issues of this new century, influenced above all by sexual transgressions. She treads on the thin ice of (not only sexual) identities rejected by conservative (Central European) society; she reassesses the position of various codified approaches and enters into polemics with society and its centuries’ old power, historical and moral structures and authorities. Juráňová is without doubt one of the most outstanding representatives of feminist literary discourse in Slovakia and we can rightly consider her a successor to B. Slančíková Timrava, Ľ. Podjavorinská, T. Vansová or H. Gregorová.
         Her debut as a writer Zverinec / Menagerie (1993) attracted attention for its unusual compositional structure – stories in the form of clips – focused on depicting outwardness, as if the subject was not involved in its testimony, under which, however, vivacious life and feelings, a whole tender world, is pulsating.  The lyrical tone of her debut was also carried over into her second book Siete / Nets (1996). Siete contains two stylistically interesting novellas – Do siete odetá / Clothed in a Net and Až za hrob / To Beyond the Grave – tinged to a considerable degree with feminist rhetoric. The first novella tells the story of a despairing woman who “drowns” her husband on the seashore, but who, in spite of this rebellion is not capable of stepping beyond the assumptions imposed by previous generations about gender divisions in society. The linear narration is interwoven with the main character’s brief retrospectives and inner monologues analysing her life and the unequal relations between the male and female sexes.  The second, rather cynical novella Až za hrob / To Beyond the Grave is written in similar tones. In it the man “creator – seducer”, traumatised by failures and false victories, gets caught up in a net of prejudices and constructions of reality typical for the male sex.
         Juráňová’s most outstanding work (the problem of pinning down the genre of this author’s texts is most obvious here) is the novella Utrpenie starého kocúra / The Ordeal of the Old Tomcat (2000, 2012) with the subtitle Mor(t)alitka. The subtitle describes very aptly the purpose of the book – the author takes a mortal example to demonstrate the conflict between free artist and ethical values. Jana Juráňová’s latest book, entitled Misky strieborné, nádoby výborné / Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels (2005) debunks the ideologists of the Slovak language and Slovak statehood canonized by history – Štúr and his followers – and through the stories of their women presents society with a very different picture. Her claims are all the more convincing because she does not portray the way the Štúr group behaves towards the gentle sex in general terms, but in relation to concrete, authentic women, their wives and loves. The main protagonists are Adela Ostroúcka, Anička Hurbanová, née Jurkovičová, Antónia Sládkovičová and others, who meet as ghosts in life after death and recall their lives lived in the shadow of these historical figures. Here and there their dialogue is supplemented by Ľudovít Štúr, J.M.Hurban, Andrej Sládkovič and others, who are placed in some kind of “hall of fame”. By combining these two worlds the author has thus created an impressive tragicomic collage on both the content and textual levels. The most noticeable barrier between the worlds of the men and the women is their language. The women communicate among themselves, expressing their feelings, cares, sometimes also malice, while the men do not communicate, they lecture. Although their archaic language rationalises male decisions, on the other hand it confines the Štúr group forever to the period of Slovak romanticism. In this way it considerably limits their validity to the period in which the speakers lived. Štúr’s language is the most complicated and the least comprehensible. By sharpening the differences between the language of the men and women Juráňová has clearly distanced herself from the way of thinking of those historical figures. Using the example of verbal expression she shows how these historical figures did not manage to step over the threshold of “the hall of their own fame”, how they shut themselves up in their own elite society and that is why their way of expressing themselves is incomprehensible to today’s readers, men and women alike.
         In the course of 1999 to 2005 Juráňová’s four books for adolescent girls appeared: Iba baba / Only a Bird, Bubliny / Bubbles, Babeta ide do sveta / Babetta  Goes Out into the World  and Ježibaby z Novej Baby / Witches from Newitch. In them the author deals with the stereotypes that belong among the working tools of feminist writers and taking various examples she reveals all the snares and greater and lesser evils of the male world that lie in wait for young girls.
         When working with the theatre she and Blaho Uhlár prepared a “theatre improvisation” Téma Majakovskij / The Mayakovsky Theme, which brought her recognition in 1988. This was followed in 1989 by the performance of her play Salome and in the nineties, when the period of her active cooperation with the theatre had already come to an end, her play Misky strieborné, nádoby výborné / Silver Bowls, Excellent Vessels was put on. The enumeration of her creative activities can be rounded off with her translations from Russian and English (F. M. Bukofzer, O. Mandeľštam, M. Atwood, V. Woolf, E. Ettinger, J. Butler and others) and her editorship of a number of book projects (Reading Slovak literature I., II., III.; The Possibility of Choice; The Fifth Woman; Women’s Voices; The Pink and Blue World; Lesbians would… / Aspects of Political Identities and Other Matters).
    Patrik Oriešek
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  • Translated production

    Utrpenie starého kocúra  (2005 Hungarian translation – with the support of the LIC SLOLIA Commission)
  • Works published with support from SLOLIA

  • Production - translation

    Bukofzer, Manfred, F.: Hudba v období baroka. Od Monteverdiho po Bacha (Music in the Baroque Era. From Montiverdi to Bach, 1986); Mandeľštam, Osip: Slovo a kultúra (The Word and
    Bukofzer, Manfred, F.: Hudba v období baroka. Od Monteverdiho po Bacha (Music in the Baroque Era. From Montiverdi to Bach, 1986); Mandeľštam, Osip: Slovo a kultúra (The Word and Culture – together with J. Štrasser, 1991); Atwood, Margaret: Nevesta zbojníčka (The Robber Bride, 1998); Herman, Judith Lewis: Trauma a uzdravenie. Násilie a jeho následky – od týrania v súkromí po politický teror (Trauma and Recovery. The Aftermath of Violence – from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, 2001); Woolf, Virginia: Tri guiney (Three Guineas, 2001); Ettinger, Elzbieta: Hannah Arendtová – Martin Heidegger (Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger, 2002); Butler, Judith: Trampoty s rodom. Feminizmus a podrývanie identity (Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, 2003); Atwood, Margaret: Penelopiáda (The Penelopiad, 2005); Drakulić, Slavenka: Myš v Múzeu komunizmu a iné životy pod psa (A Guided Tour through the Museum of Communism: Fables from a Mouse, a Parrot, a Bear, a Cat, a Mole, a Pig, a Dog and a Raven, 2009)
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  • About author

    Even if we didn’t immediately label Jana Juráňová as the hard core of Slovak feminism, with regard to her education and scope of knowledge she is definitely a conspicuous part of
    Even if we didn’t immediately label Jana Juráňová as the hard core of Slovak feminism, with regard to her education and scope of knowledge she is definitely a conspicuous part of its brain centre. But even in the greatest fervour of the debate her talent does not allow her to write schematic propaganda and “didactic stories”. She can become very indignant and she does not spare venomous, but usually rightly measured irony. In her prose works we are nearly always surprised to also find inner dissatisfaction and sadness about a forlorn life that tragically is not as it should be – if it ever was.
    Kornel Földvári

    Juráňová has ruffled the surface of inertia and offered a different, more bizarre and less historically and ideologically encumbered and static, fossilised picture of our national revivalists.
    Eva Ťapajnová
     
    In her latest book  Žila som s Hviezdoslavom / My Life with Hviezdoslav Jana Juráňová has captured the life of Ilona Országhová – the wife of our greatest poet. She has tried to present an untraditional portrait of this great poet, looking at her subject from the feminist point of view with the aim of deconstructing the myth of the genius and concentrating on the wider range of conditions, impulses and connections. She is, however, primarily interested in the portrait of his intelligent wife, Ilona, who, within the limits for women of the period, was also well-educated. The author’s narration takes the form of an overlapping of the ageing widow Iona’s memories of the past and descriptions of the present. Even though the reconstruction of the life of this married couple is based on documentary materials (their correspondence obviously being the most important),and  on what we know about the poet, his work and times, something has been breathed into the figure of Ilona that comes, as the author herself says, from her “unruly imagination”. Here “unruliness” means untraditionality, non-submission to conventions, not even to certain literary history paradigms; the courage to break down customary barriers. Along with this “unruliness” Juráňová has shown in the text one more important trait: an ability not only to look with great (gender sensitive) empathy at the life of an “ordinary” nineteenth-century educated, cultured woman from our environment (with the strict limitations imposed on her activities), but also to clearly imagine herself in her position, with her thoughts and feelings. Thanks to Juráňová Ilona, the loving and caring wife of Hviezdoslav, has come to life, symbolically representing the wives, daughters and mothers of prominent figures that history usually relegates to the fringes of memory. And thanks to her the portrait of the poet has been given new life and “humanised”.
    Etela Farkašová
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  • Author about production

    The older I get, the more I am interested in history and its never-ending distortion. As I have been destined to live in a time when history is dancing before my very eyes it is really tempting.
  • Awards

    2007 Bibliotéka Award  for the novel Orodovnice / Matrices