Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Na pokraji kanibalizmu / Esej

Za posledné roky väčšina občanov Grécka schudobnela, prišla o zamestnanie, prípadne o strechu nad hlavou. Výrazná časť spoločnosti už nemá prostriedky na to, aby mohla v existujúcom systéme prežiť. ďaleko najhoršie to postihlo ľudí, ktorí žijú v mestách a nemôžu si pomôcť vlastným poľnohospodárstvom. Škrty v zdravotníctve zasahujú najmä pacientov s chronickými chorobami. To sú prvé obete politiky zacielenej na čísla a štatistiky, a nie na ľudí. Často teraz počúvam o samovraždách. Mladí ľudia odchádzajú z krajiny hľadať prácu inde a stávajú sa z nich otroci paranoidného systému: kupujú si čas v krajinách, ktoré onedlho budú v podobnej situácii ako […]

Heroes, Kings and Saints

The official celebration of the new constitution of Hungary kicked off in Buda Castle at the National Gallery, the former residence of Hungarian Kings. The government has ordered a special exhibition with one hundred artworks and relics representing a thousand years of Hungarian statehood starting with St Stephen of Hungary to hold our ancestors as a shield against cynicism, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared in his opening speech. The director of the National Gallery did not attend. He had sent in his resignation on December 31st before the new constitution went into effect on New Year’’s Day. Several artists, actors, […]

Bumerang šťastia / Nekrológ

Zomrel Jorge Semprún. Tisíce historických faktov o nemeckom vraždení som sa dozvedela od Jorge Semprúna. Krištáľovo jasné, presne vybrúsené – tým, že v jeho jazyku boli také poeticky doráňané. Jeho vety ako odmäk a mráz za čelom, naraz. Tisíce historických faktov o brachiálnej ideológii komunistov a o tom, ako zaobchádzali s vlastnými ľuďmi, som sa tiež dozvedela od Jorge Semprúna. Na francovskej zamilovanosti do smrti som sa naučila, že láska k smrti je súčasťou všetkých autoritárskych systémov vládnutia – aj ľavicových, aj Božích štátov. Aj žiť s vlastným prenasledovaním, aj to som sa naučila od Jorge Semprúna. Z jeho viet […]

Chernobyl: How We Became What We Are Today

Before the first astronaut was sent into space, someone who could meet several ideological criteria had to be carefully selected to lend the enterprise a distinctive human face. Yuri Gagarin was chosen to be that man. After the explosion of the No. 4 nuclear reactor at Chornobyl (this is the Ukrainian form of the place-name) it was the countless liquidators who came to symbolize the disaster. There were a great many of them. It was no longer a single face. Robert Musil was right to claim that a man can’t be angry at his own time without suffering some damage. […]

Please keep an eye on my country!

I guess I’d better do something about my subconscious. I don’’t like my dreams one little bit. For a few months now they have been haunting me with an astonishing intensity and persistent regularity. They started around the time when Ukrainian reality itself began to resemble a total dream. And the worst thing is – this is a dream you cannot wake up from. It will go on for at least ten years, as incorrigible optimists claim. That is, at least during our current President’s two terms of office. But back to my dreams and the theme that runs through […]

A Small Country in a Big Game

Over the past few years I have often found it embarrassing to say I hailed from Slovakia. Long gone was the charm offensive my country had launched at the start of the new century. The extreme right-wing Slovak National Party (SNS), a proud member of the ruling coalition led by the Social Democrat Prime Minister Robert Fico had fanned the hatred of the Hungarian minority, causing serious damage to the country’’s relations with its southern neighbour. A rekindling of ethnic conflict and a resulting destabilization at its centre is what Europe least needs. Ján Slota, the SNS leader, referred to […]

The End of the Economic Miracle

Within five years our economy will reach the level of Austria!, shouted the man with the tannoy. I was beside myself with joy, and so were the crowds around me. It was on a freezing November day, I was thirteen years old and the man was Milan Kňažko, actor, people’s tribune and one of the leaders of Slovakia’’s democratic opposition. For many inhabitants of Bratislava, a city just 60 kilometres from Vienna, the non-aligned neighbour Austria was a model, a dream country, an idyllic world of make-believe, a way out of the isolated prison of their really existing socialism. The […]