The book is devoted to the Polish translations of Slovak dramatic works in the context of the dialogue between both cultures. In the first part of the work an attempt is made at formulating a definition and arranging concepts, beginning from the concept of the dialogue between cultures, translation, the competence of the recipients and the translator proceeding through a discussion of the determinants of cultural proximity and the factors which specify the contribution of translation in the intercultural dialogue, including its functions and value. There is an outline of the contacts between Polish and Slovak cultures, with reference to the contribution of translations of Slovak literature into Polish.
The second part of the book contain a discussion of the particular translations of Slovak dramatic works and their reception, which is preceded by an outline of the development of Slovak drama as well as the discussion of the theoretical concepts of translating dramatic works and their possible participation in the dialogue between cultures. An attempt was made at determining the contribution of these works in the Polish-Slovak dialogue of cultures in reference to each work that was discussed and to indicate the reasons of the particular state of affairs in the case of a given translation. Reference has also been made to the information about the authors of the particular translations.
We may distinguish three periods in the history of the presence of Slovak playwriting output in Polish culture: the pre-war years, the post-war years and the period after the Velvet Revolution. Each of these periods has a peculiar nature of its own, determined above all by the historical context in which the cultural contacts between both peoples developed.
In the inter-war period Slovak dramatic works were not staged in Polish theatres, and only one work was published in print — a one-act play by Jozef Gregor Tajovský entitled “Matka” [“Mother”].
Another phase of the Polish-Slovak dialogue of cultures begins in the years that followed the Second World War. Both the Polish literature as well as the Slovak literature was subordinated to the standards determined by the third, Soviet culture. The intercultural contacts were ideologised and politicised. Therefore the notion of a dialogue of cultures hardly applies here. In this context we may mention the translations of the following dramatic works: “Experiment Damokles” [“The Damocles Experiment”] by Peter Karvaš and “Kráľovná noci v kamennom mori” [“The Queen of the Night in the Stone Desert”] by Ján Solovič.
After 1989 the conditions of cultural contacts changed. There appeared an opportunity to forge intercultural relations based on an authentic interests of both parties involved. In this time, the number of translations that were published in print increased in comparison with the previous period, whereas the number and the frequency of performances considerably decreased.
This stage of the Polish-Slovak dialogue of cultures saw the publication of translations of the following works: Próba [The Test] by Lubomír Feldek, “Nowa skóra” [“New Skin”] by Viliam Klimáček, “Armagedon na Grbie” by Rudolf Sloboda, “Uczuciowa mieszanka” [“A Mixture of Feelings”] by Zuzana Uličianska and “Stryczek dla dwóch” [“A Noose for Two”] by Ivan Bukovčan.
The text of the translation may assume various positions in the new cultural context: it may be domesticated, being subject to acculturation or on the contrary — it may become a rejected or even alienated translation. The last chapter of the book is devoted to problems of this kind. Among the Polish translations of Slovak dramatic works there were none that would be domesticated in our culture. Slovak drama participates in the Polish-Slovak intercultural communication but it struggles to participate in the dialogue between both cultures.
Apart from the content of the bulk of the dissertation there is a critical discussion of the anthology of modern Slovak drama that is the only publication of its kind that was heretofore published in Poland — “Nowy dramat słowacki/Most recent Slovak drama”.