Josef Gregor-Tajovský

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Gregor-Tajovský, Josef

 

Born Oct. 17, 1874, in Tajov, near the city of Banská Bystrica; died May 20, 1940, in Bratislava. Slovak writer.

Gregor-Tajovský graduated from the university in Kláštor pod Znievom in 1893 and then worked as a teacher. In 1897 he enrolled at the Commercial Academy and subsequently became a government official. In the 1890’s he became sympathetic to Hlasism, a liberal movement of the Slovak intelligentsia named after the journal Hlas (The Voice).

Gregor-Tajovský began publishing in 1896. His best works, which marked a new stage in Slovak realism, were written between the late 1890’s and World War I (1914–18). The collections Short Stories (1900), Sad Music (1907), and From Under the Scythe (1910) depicted the drama in the everyday life of ordinary people at the turn of the 20th century. Gregor-Tajovský did not idealize the peasantry in the traditional manner; his plays The Women’s Law (1900) and The Commotion (1909) reflected typical conflicts among the peasantry.

Gregor-Tajovský fought in World War I and surrendered to the Russians. He was in sympathy with the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia but did not comprehend the counterrevolutionary nature of the foreign intervention, as may be seen in the collection Stories About Russia (1915; expanded edition, 1920). He returned to his homeland in 1919. Gregor-Tajovský’s later works, such as the collection Pictures New and Old (1928) and the drama Durk Langsfeld’s Death (1923) did not compare with his prewar works. In the 1930’s he became sympathetic to young communist writers.

WORKS

Dielo, vols. 1–6. Bratislava, 1953–58.
In Russian translation:
In Slovatskie povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1953.
In Slovatskie rasskazy. Moscow, 1956.

REFERENCES

Solov’eva, A. P. “Iozef Gregor-Taiovskii.” In Istoriia slovatskoi literatury. Moscow, 1970.
J. G. Tajovský v kritike a spomienkách. Bratislava, 1956.
Lesňákový, S. Cesty k realizmu: J. Gregor-Tajovský a ruska literatúra. Bratislava, 1971.

A. P. SOLOVEVA