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Re: [Slovak-World] TIMRAVA: class distinctions--Examples please?

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  • Claudia Medvik
    I can see that there would some similar to the British class system, but how would they be expressed in everyday life? What actions of the peasants would be
    Message 1 of 2 , May 2, 2003
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      I can see that there would some similar to the British class system, but how would they be expressed in everyday life? What actions of the peasants would be required to show proper respect to the 'betters' as they met them in town? In church? A servants or tenants? Merely doff a hat in respect? Or were there specific phrases and mannerism demanded? ( much like our African brothers had to show down south if they wished to stay alive?) The Slovaks were a conquered people, how many generations did that have its roots?

      Forgive me for being nosey again. But people's memories are more trustworthy than author's.

      Claudia
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: BJLK@...
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 1:03 PM
      Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] TIMRAVA: class distinctions


      In our present-day lives it's difficult to understand how pervasive class
      distinctions influenced the daily lives of prior generations. This theme of
      class differences echoes through Timrava's fiction in a very natural way.
      Even though the fictional characters have imaginary personalities which the
      author has developed in varying degrees, there is no ambiguity about their
      class standing. I have no doubt that class-related social artifacts still
      remain in Slovakia (and in the United States) today.

      Something Timrava does very well when describing class differences is to
      fully explore the antagonisms that exist as a kind of ribbon interwoven with
      the everyday social interaction between her characters. These run the gamut
      from playful insolence to bitter resentment.

      My own family is an example of how social-class differences continued to
      influence relationships in ways that were occasionally inappropriate. My
      mother, who left almost all of her family behind, came from a
      well-educational, well-traveled family of professionals, educators, and
      clergy, while my father, whose entire family emigrated to the United States,
      was from a much different social stratum.

      I can remember both of them discussing how lucky they were to meet each other
      in the United States, because they would not have been able to even speak to
      each other (much less marry) had they met in Slovakia. However, their worst
      arguments were over "the right way" to do something. For example, my mother
      loved fine linens and china, good silver, and nice table manners, while my
      father was more concerned about whether there was enough to eat. They both
      agreed that it was necessary to say grace before every meal.

      My father's family never completely warmed up to my mother and often made her
      life miserable--they always regarded her with a little bit of awe and slight
      resentment no matter how hard she tried to fit in. It took me years to
      figure out why. My observations were confirmed by a long conversation I had
      on the subject recently with a kindly Slovak senior.

      I sometimes wonder how Timrava's emigres are doing in today's world.

      Regards,

      B. J. Licko-Keel (BJLK@...)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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    • Helen Fedor
      One way was by language. I m at home and don t have the book with me, but when Kata talks to the narrator (when she tells her that Somos has come calling to
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2, 2003
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        One way was by language. I'm at home and don't have the book with me,
        but when Kata talks to the narrator (when she tells her that Somos has
        come calling to ask for her hand) and once when (I believe) she speaks
        to (or was that 'about'?) Somos, she uses 'vy,' the plural form of the
        pronoun, and the plural form of the verb. I think that's the only time
        that Kata actually speaks. By contrast, the narrator speaks to her
        mother as 'ty'.

        The narrator using 'ty' to her mother contrasts with how I was brought
        up. Only once did 'ty' somehow slip out when speaking to my mother and
        she got quite indignant, asking if she was one of my girlfriends that I
        should talk to her so. My family came from a small village SE of
        Kosice.

        Helen



        >>> CMedvik@... 05/02/03 15:13 PM >>>
        I can see that there would some similar to the British class system, but
        how would they be expressed in everyday life? What actions of the
        peasants would be required to show proper respect to the 'betters' as
        they met them in town? In church? A servants or tenants? Merely doff a
        hat in respect? Or were there specific phrases and mannerism demanded? (
        much like our African brothers had to show down south if they wished to
        stay alive?) The Slovaks were a conquered people, how many generations
        did that have its roots?

        Forgive me for being nosey again. But people's memories are more
        trustworthy than author's.

        Claudia
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: BJLK@...
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 1:03 PM
        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] TIMRAVA: class distinctions


        In our present-day lives it's difficult to understand how pervasive
        class
        distinctions influenced the daily lives of prior generations. Ths
        theme of
        class differences echoes through Timrava's fiction in a very natural
        way.
        Even though the fictional characters have imaginary personalities
        which the
        author has developed in varying degrees, there is no ambiguity about
        their
        class standing. I have no doubt that class-related social artifacts
        still
        remain in Slovakia (and in the United States) today.

        Something Timrava does very well when describing class differences is
        to
        fully explore the antagonisms that exist as a kind of ribbon
        interwoven with
        the everyday social interaction between her characters. These run the
        gamut
        from playful insolence to bitter resentment.

        My own family is an example of how social-class differences continued
        to
        influence relationships in ways that were occasionally inappropriate.
        My
        mother, who left almost all of her family behind, came from a
        well-educational, well-traveled family of professionals, educators,
        and
        clergy, while my father, whose entire family emigrated to the United
        States,
        was from a much different social stratum.

        I can remember both of them discussing how lucky they were to meet
        each other
        in the United States, because they would not have been able to even
        speak to
        each other (much less marry) had they met in Slovakia. However, their
        worst
        arguments were over "the right way" to do something. For example, my
        mother
        loved fine linens and china, good silver, and nice table manners,
        while my
        father was more concerned about whether there was enough to eat. They
        both
        agreed that it was necessary to say grace before every meal.

        My father's family never completely warmed up to my mother and often
        made her
        life miserable--they always regarded her with a little bit of awe and
        slight
        resentment no matter how hard she tried to fit in. It took me years
        to
        figure out why. My observations were confirmed by a long conversation
        I had
        on the subject recently with a kindly Slovak senior.

        I someties wonder how Timrava's emigres are doing in today's world.

        Regards,

        B. J. Licko-Keel (BJLK@...)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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