Jana Bodnárová foto 1

Jana Bodnárová

21. 6. 1950
essay, general fiction, literary science, literature, other, poetry, radio production, screenwriting, theatre & drama & film, translation activity, ya and children's books, children's and ya books (religious)

Curriculum vitae

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.