London, United Kingdom, March 06, 2021 --(PR.com
Ľudovít Štúr (1815 – 1856) is poet, publicist, and patriot. But patriot for whom? His native Slovakia? An autonomous federation of Slavic nations under the Habsburg crown? Or Tsarist Russia? While constituting the largest, numerically speaking, ethnic group in Europe, none of the historical Slavic nations, with the exception of Russia (and semi-autonomous Serbia) had an independent political existence in the nineteenth century. In Slovakia, where Štúr was born, the nationalistic impetus was threefold. The Slovaks asserted their ethnicity in the face of the Magyarising policies of the Hungarian crown, such as aimed at entirely eradicating the Slovak language. How to fight against this? Should the Slovaks seek a closer union with the kindred Czechs? Or is annexation to Russia the answer? Slavdom, the selected writings of Ľudovít Štúr, brings together in one volume important texts from all three periods of Štúr’s political thought: the underscoring of the Slovak presence in Hungary from time immemorial (placing special emphasis on the development of the modern Slovak nation from the mediaeval Great Moravian Empire), the Austro-Slavic tendencies, which came crashing to a halt after the unsuccessful revolt of 1848, and finally, the Pan-Slavic ideal of a Slavic mega-state comprising all the ‘tribes’ of Slavdom under the political leadership of Tsarist Russia. Slavdom comprises selections from both Štúr’s poetic output, as well as his polemical writings, including both salient passages of his magnum opus Slavdom and the World of the Future, as well as the complete text of both his Slovak epics, Matúš of Trenčín and Svatoboj, in the English translation of Charles S. Kraszewski. Ľudovít Štúr’s Slavdom is required reading for anyone interested in Slovak culture, or Pan-Slavism.
About The Author:
Ľudovít Štúr (1815 – 1856) is arguably the most influential author in Slovak literature. Entirely devoted to the cause of the Slovak people’s independence, there is hardly a work of his, whether in prose or verse, that is not conceived with his great mission in mind: the establishment of a proud, autonomous, Slovak nation, in brotherly concord, if not outright political union, with all the other "tribes" of Slavdom. Fluent in Magyar and German, as well as all of the Slavic tongues, Štúr came to understand his nature as a Slovak, and a Slav, while a young boy sent to a distant Hungarian boarding school in the town of Győr. Following his brother Karol to the Slovak lyceum in Bratislava, he threw himself into activity on behalf of the Slovak nation and Slavic culture, even as a student himself lecturing the lower classes on Slavic languages and literatures, inculcating in them a love for their nation, and Slavdom as a whole. His two years spent at the University of Halle introduced him to both a deeper understanding of Hegel’s philosophy of history - which, as he saw it, guaranteed a bright future for the Slavs - and Herder’s idea of the Volk, which sharpened his perception of the traits and nature of the Slavic peoples, in the past and in the present. Upon returning to Hungary from his studies, he undertook agitation as a publicist — especially after being deprived of his position at the Bratislava Lyceum for his opposition to the Hungarian Kingdom’s policies of magyarisation. He defended Slovak rights in the Hungarian parliament, to which he was elected in the fateful years 1847 – 1849. The outbreak of the Spring of the Peoples saw him in Prague, as one of the chief organisers of the Slavic Congress. When this was disrupted by the cannon of General Windischgrätz, Štúr took to the barricades during the Czech June Uprising, and later played an active role in organising armed resistance to the Magyars, on behalf of Slovak independence, at a time when the Magyars themselves were in open revolt against Vienna. The quelling of these rebellions by the Austrians, aided by the Russians, put an end to his political activity - consigning him to what amounted to a house arrest in the village of Modra - and disabusing him of any illusions he may have had about the possibilities of a union of the Slavs under the Habsburg sceptre. Štúr died at the young age of 41 from complications arising from a hunting accident. Although his tireless polemics on behalf of his Slavic and Slovak ideals are his most noteworthy writings, he was an accomplished poet as well. His two great narrative poems, Svatoboj and Matúš of Trenčín are among the treasures of Slovak poetry.
Title: Slavdom: A Selection of his Writings in Prose and Verse
Author: Ľudovít Štúr
Translator: Charles S. Kraszewski
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications
ISBN: 9781914337017, 9781914337024, 9781914337031
Extent: 356 pages
Price: €19.99 (PB), €25.99 (HB), €9.95 (e-book)
Format: paperback, hardback, e-book
Review copies are available upon request.