Anton Hykisch foto 2

Anton Hykisch

23. 2. 1932
Banská Štiavnica
A. Horník; Ahy; Peter Arnošt
essay, ya and children's books, literature, nonfiction, radio production, screenwriting, general fiction, theatre & drama & film, translation activity

Curriculum vitae

After his economics studies in Bratislava, Anton Hykisch has worked as an economist in the Research Institute of Local Management in Bratislava, in a railway construction company and for the landscaping and recreational services in Bratislava. From 1962 to 969 he worked as an editor in Slovak Radio. Then he was a clerk in the Central Library of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and in the Slovak Fund for Fine Arts. From 1988 to 1992 he was deputy director and later director of the Mladé letá publishing house. In 1993 - 1997 he was Slovakia`s first ever ambassador to Canada. Currently Hykisch teaches political science and diplomacy and lives in Bratislava. Anton Hykisch is one of the major representatives of "Generation 1966," generation that rejected the canon of socialist realism and systemmatically featured the fundamental problems of the time. This orientation included social criticism presented through the medium of interiorised confession and the advent of a new main character stripped of heroic qualities, usually an ordinary young man. Social criticism remains an organic element from the time of Hykisch`s début (A Dream Pulls into the Station) until his mature prose works (Nadia, A Square in Mähring, Relationships, Desire). Hykisch unmasks the increasingly cumbersome social order marked by moral turpitude, incompetent organization of labour, favoritism, corruption and other evils that produce disillusion, apathy, and disenchantment with life. The stories and novels of Hykisch that deal with contemporary themes have a journalistic immediacy, but also emphasize personal concerns and psychology, and eroticism. No wonder that at the beginning of the Seventies, Hykisch was branded an enemy of socialism and his publishing possibilities were limited.
Among readers' favorite books are his historical novels The Time of the Masters and Adore the Queen. In the first one, from the period of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, he reconstructs the fate of an unknown author of a famous painting. The story unfolds against the background of society and significant events in the Slovak mining towns, particularly the miners` uprising of 1525 - 1526 in Banská Štiavnica. In the second novel, there is an evocation of life in Slovakia during the reign of Emperor Maria Theresa. In a dramatic development there are shifts of scenery from the royal court to libraries, workshops, and battlefields. The novel brings to life the period of economic and cultural flowering that came as a result of Theresian and Josephian reforms of 1740 - 1780. It instances the destiny of educated Slovaks of that time, together with the outstanding figures of European history (Voltaire, Haydn, Mozart). In both novels, Hykisch bases his stories on historical sources that help him outline his plot and create his characters. He reinforces the effect by pondering in the eternal problems of existence and history.