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The page of Rúfus, Milan, English Reception

Image of Rúfus, Milan
Rúfus, Milan
(1928–2009)

Reception

CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS WRITING
The work of Milan Rúfus is one of the most expressive poetic phe­nomena in Slovak literature. His first published collection of poetry (Boy being his real début) When We Have Matured was a break­through in Slovak poetry, marking a departure from declarative poetry and schematism to innovation in both form and content. Rú­fus introduced himself as a poet with an autonomous view of exis­tential and moral values; of truth, beauty, suffering and tragedy of man and life in the second half of the 20th century. The philosophi­cal potential of his work was underlined by clear stylisation, perfect form, and precise metaphors with rich subtext. He sang of the am­bivalent character of the times, the world, of man and of the far rea­ching connections between events, behaviour, perception, and ac­quisition as well as of the ambivalent nature of man’s inner world.
M. Martin
ček’s photographs of Rúfus’s home region Liptov as well as of the Tatra Mountains inspired the poet to create the collections People in the Mountains, Cradle and The Forest. The paintings of Ľ. Fulla inspired his collections A Cradle Sings to Children and Music of Shapes while the paintings of M. A. Bazovský gave him inspira­tion to write the collection A Search for an Image.
His books for children represent a separate field. Rúfus creates a masterfully imagined world filled with love, purity of relation­ships, understanding and perception of things, phenomena and actions, justice and truth, moral values. His little prayers’ became very popular with Slovak readers, young and old, and they are of­ten read even in church.
The work of Milan Rúfus achieves a unique unity of life and poetry. Rúfus has created poetical transcendence because he tries to chan­ge the indifferent world to a world of humanity. In spite of tragedy there is joy hidden at the very bottom of his poetry, from the depths of a sad song, very often a ballad, there is a silent and pure chord of joy emerging on the surface.

ON THE AUTHOR
Rufus created with his debut When We Have Matured a milestone in contemporary Slovak poetry. It was a counter-weight to surrea­listic games of dreams and most of all it differed totally from the schematic-declarative “lyrics” of that “constrictive” Stalinist period... Rúfus’s poetry has become a persistent corrective in the world’s crazy merry-go-round. It doesn’t adjust to it, but it resists, having found support in anthropological human constants. (
Štefan Drug)

Rúfus is a poet of unusual moral strength, never accepting the re­gime of the communist totality. In his poetry and essays, however, he reflected first of all the moral crisis of today’s man against the background of the crisis in today’s civilization. The heroism and uniqueness of his attitude is based on his search for a medicine against this disintegration and decay of mankind. (Wiliam Marčok)

AWARDS
State Prize for Literature (1970)
Golden Key International Prize (1990)
Order of T. G. Masaryk (1991)
Order of
Ľ. Štúr of First Class (1993)
Honorable Doctor of Literature (1998)
Struga Festival Prize (2001)
Anthology ::
Literature ::
Translation ::

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