Slovenský topos drotára v českej literatúre : (J.K. Tyl a slovenská otázka v prvej polovici 19. storočia)

Title: Slovenský topos drotára v českej literatúre : (J.K. Tyl a slovenská otázka v prvej polovici 19. storočia)
Variant title:
  • The Slovak topos of tinker in Czech literature : (J.K. Tyl and Slovak question in the first half of the 19th century)
Source document: Slavica litteraria. 2013, vol. 16, iss. 1-2, pp. [105]-119
  • ISSN
    1212-1509 (print)
    2336-4491 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
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The paper explores the topos of tinker in the works of two Czech authors: J. K. Chmelenský's libretto for the eponymous opera by F. Škroup (1826) and J. K. Tyl's short story Pomněnky z Roztěže (1838, Roztěž forget-me-nots). Expressing Czech-Slovak mutuality, this theme combined Romantic sensibility, folkloric exoticism and patriotic ideology. In the Czech milieu, the tinker was ideated, rather sentimentally, as a particular type of Slovak patriot. Thus in J. K. Chmelenský's dramatic libretto, the tinker defends his home and native language, and similarly, in Tyl's story, which was later included in the cycle of Kusy mého srdce (1844, Pieces of My Heart), the tinker represents love for his country, the conflict of "reason" and "heart". It was in this character that Tyl "relinquished" the Máchaian concept of discontentedness. The tinker, remembering his young love, is depicted by the author not only as a patriot but also a true beggar, distressed vagrant. What distinguishes him linguistically is the fact that in the magazine the man speaks Czech, while in the book edition his speech is "rendered in Slovak". It was the first time that, one year after Štúr had originated the Slovak language, Tyl made an artistically convincing admission of the language separation. Subsequently, in the early 1840s, Tyl came to the conclusion that Slovak endeavours to establish an independent language were not to impede the traditional cooperation with Czechs who could understand Slovak in a work of art.