Writer and journalist Dominik Tatarka belonged to the most important Slovak writers of the twentieth century. He studied at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague Slovak, Czech and French languages. He studied also at the Sorbonne University in Paris from 1938 to 1939. Then, he became a secondary school teacher. During the Second World War he entered the Czechoslovak Communist Party and he actively took part at the Slovak National Uprising in 1944. After the war, he worked as an editor and journalist in several Slovak newspapers and magazines. He was also a screenwriter of the Czechoslovak Film in Bratislava. From an enthusiastic communist, Tatarka gradually developed into an uncompromised critic of the system. His book “The Daemon of Consent” (1963) was a scorching criticism of Stalinism in Czechoslovakia. He left the communist party in protest against the communist politics after August 1968. Subsequently, he was expelled from professional associations, forbidden to publish and his books were withdrawn from official distribution. Until 1989, Tatarka could work only as a labourer and his work could be only spread in samizdat, or in exile. At that time, he became one of the most important Slovak dissidents and one of a few Slovak signatories to Charter 77. In 1986, the Charter 77 Foundation in Stockholm awarded him the Jaroslav Seifert Prize for his trilogy “Písačky”. Tatarka died in May 1989, only a few months before the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and official rehabilitation of his work. In 1991, he was awarded in memoriam the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Eight years later, he got the National Prize of the Slovak Republic. Since 1994, the “Dominik Tatarka Prize”, an annually literary award, has been awarded in Slovakia by the Milan Rastislav Štefánik Conservative Institute in cooperation with the Dominik Tatarka Prize jury and the Milan Šimečka Foundation. Today, Dominik Tatarka is considered to be one of the most influential representatives of the Slovak culture of the second half of the twentieth century and one of the most prominent Slovak dissidents.
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- Plevník-Drienové, Slovakia
Date of death
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- Kůželová, Michaela
Štolbová, Eva, and Dominik Tatarka. 2013. Navrávačky s Dominikom Tatarkom. Bratislava: Literárne informačné centrum.
Tatarka, Dominik. 2013. Písačky pre milovanú Lutéciu. Bratislava: Literárne informačné centrum.
Zajac, Peter. 2001. “Tri problémy s Dominikom Tatarkom.” Kritika & Kontext, No. 1: 22–26.
Sme.sk. 2009. “Dominik Tatarka zomrel pred 20 rokmi.” Last modified May 10. https://kultura.sme.sk/c/4836035/dominik-tatarka-zomrel-pred-20-rokmi.html.
Bombíková, Petra, and Ingrid Antalová, eds. 1994. Ešte s vami pobudnúť: spomínanie na Dominika Tatarku. Bratislava: Nadácia Milana Šimečku.
Hamada, Milan et al. 2001. “Rozhovory o Tatarkovi.” Kritika & Kontext, No. 1: 9–21.