Escaping into historical prose

One could avoid ideologisation in literature by means of the thematisation of the past rather than of the totalitarian present. The historicising fiction of the Ballek-Jaroš-Šikula generation can be understood in the context of the inter-war and post-war novel, magic realism, postmodernist tendencies and Bachtin’s concept of the carnivalesque (for more details, see Jenčíková-Zajac). Three novels in particular should be mentioned: Tisícročná včela (The Millennium Bee, 1979), by Peter Jaroš, which blends the high (the metaphor of a busy bee) and the low (corporeality of characters), the publicising and the lyrical means (less convincing is the free, ideology-laden sequel to the novel Nemé ucho, hluché oko, The Mute Ear, the Deaf Eye, 1984); Majstri (Masters, 1976) by Šikula (followed by the free sequel Muškát, Geranium, 1977 and Vilma, 1979) which presented the Uprising from the point of view of a ‘little’ man forcibly dragged in the war, the novels by Ballek from Southern Slovakia as a multicultural environment, with the monumentalisation of the main protagonists, Pomocník (The Assistant, subtitled Kniha o Palánku, 1977) and Agáty (Acacias, subtitled Druhá kniha o Palánku, 1981). Confrontation between the powerful and the weak is highlighted in different ways by Ján Johanides in the novel Marek Koniar a uhorský pápež (Marek Koniar and the Hungarian Pope, 1983) and by Lajos Grendel in the book Odtienené oblomky (Tinged Fragments, 1985). The potential reaction of Anton Baláž to the scrapping of his debut work Bohovia ročných období (Gods of Seasons of the Year, 1971) was the escape to history in the work Sen pivníc (The Dream of Cellars, 1977). Likewise, Anton Hykisch switches from the thematisation of the present to the past in his novels Čas majstrov I, II (The Era of Masters I, II, 1977, 1983) and Milujte kráľovnú (Love the Queen, 1984). History is also actualised by Ján Lenčo in his texts Egypťanka Nitokris (The Egyptian Woman Nitokris, 1972), Žena medzi kráľmi (The Woman Among Kings, 1985) and others.
Milan Ferko also authored the historical novel trilogy Svätopluk (1975), Svätopluk a Methodus (Svätopluk a Methodus, 1985) and Svätopluk´s Legacy (1989), initially presenting himself as a schematic poet. In this sense, his texts are not an escape, but rather an exploitation of the sub-genre of historical discourse. Ivan Izakovič blends the techniques of historical fiction and non-fiction in his novels.