Russian Studies at the Institute of World Literature SAS

Mária Kusá

The Slovak Russian Studies of the 20th century was -- either at the Institute of World Literature in the previous period paradoxically -- in an inconvenient position. For four decades (1948--1989) preferred Russian culture positioned the people who tried to reflect it in a difficult situation: on one hand the Russian studies belonged to the disciplines that had wide social order but on the other as such it was "under the glass, perhaps under the most rigid supervision", first of all, after a short breath out in the '60s, in the 1970s and 1980s. It is not by an accident that until nowadays the most reflected Slovak literary scholars of the second half of the 20th century were primarily specialists in Russian studies, and mostly at the institutes in the traditions of which continues the IWL SAS: M. Bakoš (1914--1972) and his "upheaval" activity by means of translation of the selection of formal method, D. Ďurišin (1929--1997) with one of probably the most discussed innovations of world comparatistics of the 2nd half of the century, Anton Popovič (1933--1984) and his attempt for a typology, theory and poetics of translation of literary texts. But a "pure" Russian studies appears only rarely in 50s to 80s in Slovakia, although it found its place in the "academic" Russian studies (SAS), chiefly in the texts by O. Marušiak (1926) or D. Slobodník (1927--2001).

When summarizing these activities at the SAS therefore sometimes the work of two scholars is often omitted -- Ema Panovová and Soňa Lesňáková, who both devoted their Professional lives to material and comparatistic research in Slovak and Russian literatures in mutual relations. Their works broadly resonated in a wider field of Slavist studies.


In a sense of a matter-of-fact inclination to de-mythizing and demystifying approach to Russian, Slavonic, slavistic aspect the author brought the contours of contribution of these two scholars to the Slovak Russian studies, and not only the at the IWL SAS. The citation notification of the work of E. Panovová and S. Lesňáková raised from the 1990s, of course chiefly in the Russian (several volumes of the history of Slavonic literatures Istorija literatur zapadnych i južnych slavjan Institutu slavjanovedenija RAN), Polish (the texts reflecting Czech and Slovak comparatistics) and Czech contexts (O. Richterek, D. Kšicová etc.) confirms the formulated aim of the author and it gives it important -- international dimension.

Keywords: Russian Studies. Slovak Russian Studies. Russian Studies at the IWL SAS. Material and Comparatistic Research. Soňa Lesňáková. Ema Panovová.