The page of Buzássy, Ján, English Reception
ReceptionCharacteristics of his writing
Ján Buzássy entered literature with the collection Game with Knives in 1965 in which he touched the fundamentals of human existence and the sense of human life in the world through a special way of regarding the world. In seeking various and odd aspects of beauty in the cycle of more transparent poetic fragments in Beauty Leads the Stone (1972). They are connected by the key motifs of tear and blood, body and spirit, “by the counterbalancing” of their contrasts Buzássy evokes a classical harmony – he presents himself in Slovak poetry as the outstanding poet of the cultural gesture. The paradox of preferring world art and folklore to the cultural-political contemporary background became for Buzássy a way for a writer to exist in the 1970’s and 80’s. Intellectual metaphor, but also sensuous perception, free verse the same as a sonnet, wide-ranging cyclical compositions, but at the same time, delicate, refined poetic miniatures – all belong to the lasting qualities of Buzássy’s poetry. Leading literary critics have described as an exclusively intellectual poet. At the same time he is a poet of a delicate sensuality, fascinated by ancient culture where he has found an aesthetic ideal: a balance of mind and feeling, “sensitive intelligence and intelligent feeling”. He adhered to the exponents of concretism developing it in an analytical and rationalist way. For him poetry is a distinctive sense for paradox and thought marking the poem. Other typical attributes of his handiwork include word play and a sense of the sound values of a word. These with his sense for ancient civilisation and serious music are the lasting inspirations of his poetry.
Translations of important world poets are echoed in his poetry in its multiplicity, poetic form and the culture of his languages.
On the author
Ján Buzássy is a noetically self-conscious artist. He writes a poetry of knowledge which completes the time of a human life; he comprehends it as the unity of thought, rationality and intuition. In the author’s development you can see the alteration of “dark” and “bright” books in a fundamental contrast of thought and feeling, love and death, unrest and harmony which are directed towards clarifying his poetic utterance in significant and expressive meaning. (Albín Bagin)
The summit of Buzássy’s poetry, Plain, Mountains, which he himself considers to be his key work, he pushes programmatically to the forefront the immense time and space co-ordinates of human existence. Not a verbal “poeticisation” of historical events but through thought-analytic, and at the same time through an always consistent poetic image insight into material and spiritual conditions, in which mankind has achieved his ancient desire for wholeness and knowledge, for beauty and harmony. (Július Noge)
Buzássy’s aim is mainly for the definition of fundamental attitudes of life, for the poetic characterisation of a situation in which the individual act ions of a person connect with the general principles of human living. (Dalimír Hajko)
Ján Hollý Prize for Translation (1983, 1988)
Honourable Doctor of Literature (1998)