“Transformations of the Muse or Woman of the New Age II.” is the second part of a very successful exhibition, that took place in 2020. We will look at the origin and development of the Slovak women’s literature through the life stories and work of selected women writers. Facts from literary science, history and newly published information from sociology and gender studies will help us define this topic in a wider cultural-historical context.
The exhibition takes place in the Literary Museum of the Slovak National Library until May 14th 2023. It shows the poets Maša Haľamová, Sláva Manicová, Henny Fiebigová, Bela Dunajská, translator Zora Jesenská and novelist Margita Figuli. It also describes the slow social changes in the status of female writers in Slovakia.
Most of the female authors came from small towns, and this social environment – as well as the original Slovak nature – resonated in their work. Especially the heroines of their novels and poems reflected the time and environment from which they came. They paid more attention to the psychology of female characters, they unmasked taboo sexual sphere of womanhood. As the mood in society gradually changed in favour of women’s literature, male writers and critics increasingly recognized the talent and quality of the work of their female colleagues. In the middle of the 20th century, women artists became equal partners and they were accepted by their male colleagues.