The page of Lenčo, Ján, English Reception
ReceptionCHARACTERISTICS OF HIS WORK
In his quite extensive work Lenčo shows himself to be an original type of writer with a prevailing rationality and with a tendency to use prose to model situations where he resolves issues of human existence both at a general philosophical level and in specific time and space. There are issues of life and death, truth and justice, human desires and emotions and everything that stands in the way of human self-realization or, conversely, assists this self-realization. For this he uses various literary means and forms from legend, fable; cartoons, satire, irony even to the point of sarcasm. absurdity and science fiction. He also likes to use historical themes (Egyptian, Greek and more recent) as well as contemporary problems of people in the present world in order to search for solutions to many problematic issues within the existing conditions. Socially his works are directed against inhumanity, injustice, the dictates of power. suppression and lack of freedom in its different forms in the distant past as well as at present day. That, too. was one of the reasons why he had problems with publishing in the previous political regime. His book A Didactic Chronicle of the House of Hohenzollern was banned in 1964 and appeared only in 1968. By the same token, his Rules and Exceptions could not be published in 1983 and only went to press as late as 1990. The prose miniature - a short narrative, ironical at some times, grotesque or satirical at others, a highly variable genre - became a permanent feature of Lenčo’s work. A respected literary critic has called Lenčo ‘A Mage of the Literary Miniature’. The novel Recollecting has an outstanding place in Lenčo’s work; at the time of its origin it was a courageous and innovative literary exploration of Slovak society. The work had great success with its readers, which was also true of Lenčo’s novels inspired by ancient and Egyptian history (Nitokris the Egyptian, The Golden Fleece, Cleopatra’s Lover and Odysseus, Bronze and Blood) In these historical works Lenčo brings a living history of ordinary people, trying to define what was the meaning of their life, filled with dramatic events, struggle and suffering. “He fuses the period into people and not, conversely, the people into the period, which means that he humanizes the protagonists of his historical works - they become alive and almost contemporary, so that they are in a direct relation with the present. In this way he describes not only relationships of man to man and man to his native land, but also a whole range of problems with a current and also universal validity. In his work we find erotic relationships, political relationships, those of power and control, love and hate and a whole complex of moral-philosophical reflection, feeling and human thought in people of different ages and status. Lenčo’s work is characterized by the desire to understand, to discover, to go beneath the surface of things and behind them, leaving a space for the reader’s own apprehension and his droughts.
ON THE AUTHOR
Lenčo is one of our most educated creators, original in theme and form and in his formal and intellectual culture. (Pavol Števček)
The trilogy Lucy’s Wings, Magical Lucy, Lucy’s Light again confirmed Lenčo’s literary and perhaps also human desire to illuminate the meaning of human existence and find the real human being, perhaps the last one. And although Lenčo knows lie has not found him yet, he also knows that more important as the result is the process itself. (Marek Kopča)
THE AUTHOR ON HIMSELF
What mattered to me, was solely the truth. Although I feel I have not found it, I am satisfied in knowing that I have found man instead, which is more in the last resort... The most important thing for a writer is self-knowledge, the realization of what he is able to achieve, what his creative space. Humour and satire are present in my literary work from the beginning, and without much effort on my part. They simply came by themselves and without invitation... I believe that the story and the narrator will not die away for one simple reason - they are the elementary condition for not making the work indigestible for the reader. Long-standing, even ancient models of certain conflicts, problems and situations will be instilled by the feelings, issues, environment and the language of other generations.