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Interview with Vilenica '97 Award Winner Pavel Vilikovsky

Lipica, 13 September - CULTURE/VILENICA '97/VILIKOVSKY
Born in 1941 in Paludzka, a Slovak writer, critic and translator, Pavel Vilikovsky, had to wait for 18 years to have his second book published after his first - Sentimental Education in March, a collection of essays appeared in 1965 and even won an award despite being radically different from the official line of real-socilist educational literature. His second book - The First Sentence of Sleep - finally came out in 1983, followed in 1989 by as many as four books. In the 90s his most notable works included Slovak Casanova and The Cruel Engine Driver. The latter brought him a prestigious Slovak literary award named after a Slovak writer and dissident Dominik Tatarka who died shortly before the 1989 coup. Vilikovsky was described in the award as "undoubtedly the best Slovak writer of a Central European and European profile". The explanation of the Vilenica award praises Vilikovsky for his "extraordinary subtlety of language and shifting of emphasis in the story to the inner world of the protagonist" - who in his latest collection of short stories is "an individual lost in a labyrinth of desires and reality, empty promises and opportunities that forever remain out of reach". Vilikovsky's entire opus is a bitter and grotesque expression of the Slovak Central European and European experience, while the author is credited with having opened a new chapter in Slovak literature.

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