A GAME AND (OR) A LIFE, MISANTHROPY A LA SLOVAK (BOZENA SLANCIKOVA-TIMRAVA: UINKIND PEOPLE)
The novelette 'Nemili' (Unkind People, 1899) confirms by its poetics and interpretation of reality that Timrava is a typical author of modern Slovak prose. This work can be characterised as a contribution to a decomposition of a fixture of realistic writing. Destabilised of up to that time integral world of prose happens on all the levels of her texts, it influences mainly the semantic core. In that period up-to-date analogy of fate, life and cards became a base of the story. Timrava uses a card game as a tool of original interpretation of social relationships. But primarily (relaxing) determination disappeared from the game. The game became a stereotyped duty, which reveals 'ontological vacuum' of a characters' being. The story is focused on the 'problem' of Saba, the main character, a daughter of a village pastor. The question is whom she can marry, as she is 'neither nice nor rich or even bright'. Parallel to a card game a 'love game' is being developed also among other characters - while epilogue of the novelette stresses a victory of things happening by chance in the love relationships among characters. It is a part of the author's strategy - 'a game with a reader'. The first plan point that life and relationships happen only by chance like a game, has an opposite point in the deep structure of the text. It is a consciousness of an existential inevitability, inscribed into the 'fate' of people of a certain social position. Banality, nihilism, illiberality, lukewarmness - it is never ending meaningless cycle of the village intelligence in Timrava's story - her existentional misanthropy, with a hidden message about human being, seeking and not finding of a harmonic fulfilment of the life.
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