Culture Shorts

Poet Milan Rúfus wins award


THE SLOVENSKÝ Spisovateľ Award for 2005 went to poet Milan Rúfus for his latest collection of poems Báseň a čas (The Poem and the Time) on January 5.

"This is our only prize for last year," director of the Slovenský spisovateľ (Slovak Writer) publishing house Martin Chovanec told the TASR news wire.

Established in 1962, the prize is the oldest granted by a Slovak publishing house. It draws the attention of experts and readers to noteworthy works from the publisher.

"In these times of American bestseller author Dan Brown topping the book charts in Slovakia and the whole Europe, this small book of 39 poems by Rúfus managed to push him out of the saddle [in Slovakia]. This is really exceptional," said Chovanec.

University professor Rúfus was born in Závažná Poruba, northern Slovakia, in 1928. In 1956 he debuted with a collection of poems Až dozrieme (When We Mature). He has published 20 collections of poems and translated poetry by Pushkin, Jesenin, Hrubín, Seifert and Ibsen. His poems have been translated into 16 languages.

For Slovaks, Rúfus represents an exceptional moral authority. His poems, essays as well as works for children enjoy great interest from the public.



photo: Courtesy of Slovenská Pošta

Postage stamp of 2005 announced


REMBRANDT van Rijn's Supper at Emmaus is Slovakia's Postage Stamp of 2005. Slovak Post announced the results in December. Arnold Feke, who turned the artistic painting into a graphic work and engraved it into stamp form, received the prize.



German film maps Slovak tinkers


THE FATES of mousetrap manufacturers and menders of dishes, Slovak tinkers Jozef Ploštica, Ján Raček and Vasil Dubay, are the main concern of a new German documentary, Ende einer Reise - Von Drahtbindern und Mausefallen-händlern (End of a Journey - The Last Slovak Tinkers). The film, directed by Babette Ellen Kottkamp, was premiered in Munich in mid-December.

"Based on materials in Považské múzeum in Žilina, the director took the script and direction of the film firmly in her hands. It very sensitively depicts the fates of Slovak tinkers," the museum's director Marian Mrva told the TASR news agency.

End of a Journey is a story of simple people wandering around the world, who life has taught a lot.

"Work and wandering in foreign countries enriched them internally with new experiences. Often they returned home from abroad without money, but they did not feel sorrow. At the end of their journey through life, they assess, look back. They find out that in spite of problems and pains, they have kept their belief in people and love," said Mrva.

"The funny-sad film will also catch the attention of those who are not exactly keen on this craft. In particular, its human dimension will not make anybody cold," added the museum director. He stressed that this is the first film of its kind in the world and paradoxically it arrives from Germany and not Slovakia, which is most famous for the tinker's craft.

The Slovak premiere is scheduled for April or June in the Považské múzeum in Žilina.


Prepared by Jana Liptáková
from press reports

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