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The page of Hevier, Daniel, English Reception

Image of Hevier, Daniel
Hevier, Daniel
(1955–)

Reception

CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS WRITING
Daniel Hevier is an almost universal writer: he writes poetry, prose, essays, lyrics and scripts. He is also a dramatist and translator and editor of many anthologies. However, his extensive work bears the mark of top artistic quality, originality of form and appeal to rea­ders. Hevier the miraculous child, by no means enfant terrible, star­ted to write poetry that was playful, light, and rich with metaphors and humour. This was something new during the Seventies, when his first books were published (Butterfly Merry-go-round, In the Garden with My Father, Bird Drinking from the Track). His books from the early Eighties, Non-stop, Electronic Clown, and A Man Seeking the Sea, expressed the spirit of a generation that rejected the ideological clichés and pseudo-poetical ballast of the past, a ge­neration that was enchanted by town life rather than the village and perceived the world with all its smells, tastes and darker aspects of reality. According to critics Hevier was the most remarkable talent in young Slovak poetry. After writing lyrical poems for adult readers he came with original poetry for children. Even his first works show characteristics that would later become typical for all his children’s books: playful lyricism, subdued comicality, masterful use of words, conciseness of expression in both prosaic and poetic forms. The playfulness of Hevier’s poetry has very much in common with chil­dren’s playfulness. However, his books for children are well com­posed and the author always works with an illustrator and typo­grapher. He himself illustrated some of his latest books. Hevier’s texts for children are usually set in reality and shaped by his imagi­nation. After several years spent in the publishing business Hevier made his comeback to poetry in the collection entitled Poems from the Advertising Campaign for the End of the World and also in the collection of song lyrics A Rusty-haired Girl.

ON THE AUTHOR
Hevier knows what he wants and is able to use everything he knows and wants. It seems that this exceptionally prolific author doesn’t have to search for themes, he simply finds there And gives them to his readers. The impression of spontaneity is enhanced by the use of free verse which can start or end anytime. because the author is not exploring causes, he just lets them flow side by side and the result is a seemingly invisible higher causality. (Jozef B
žoch)

The book Don’t Stick Your Tongue out at the Lion is a happy com­bination of poetry and non-fiction for children. This is perhaps Hevier’s main contribution. Puns and puzzles and other ideas are not his sole invention, many of them are part of children folk games or nursery rhymes. Hevier reorganised them and used them in dif­ferent ways, creating a very lively and attractive “show”, making his young readers use their intellectual as well as emotional abilities. (Július Noge)

Hevier is one the most remarkable modern storytellers in the con­text of Slovak literature. His stories span from symbolic to Anderse­nian to nonsense, parody, word games, sci-fi stories, parables, moral stories and lyrical-epical studies. (Zuzana Stanislavová)

AWARDS
The diploma of IBBY Honours List (1986)
Three-folded Rose Award (1994). for lifelong achievements in child­ren’s literature
Anthology ::
Literature ::
Translation ::

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