Book Discussion: Out Of This Furnace (6/24/2017)

June 24, 2:00pm
Arlington Central Library
2nd-floor Meeting Room
1015 N Quincy St
Arlington, VA

Dr. Charles Sabatos will lead a discussion of Slovak themes in Thomas Bell’s novel, Out of This Furnace

Thomas Bell’s 1941 novel Out of This Furnace is the best-known depiction of Slovak immigrants in American literature.  It was translated from English into Slovak in 1949 as Dva svety (Two worlds).  The novel has bridged the gap between Slovak and American culture in three different ways:  Bell’s use of Slovak dialect, the Slovak translation, and two adaptations from the 1970s (an American play and a film for Slovak television).  Bell’s novel illuminates the complex relationship between ethnic American writers and their lands of origin, particularly focusing on the literary use of the Slovak language.

Dr. Charles Sabatos is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Yeditepe University in Istanbul.  His main research interests are Central and Eastern European (as well as American) literary history.  He has received various grants for research in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, most recently as a visiting scholar at the Institute for World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences.  His article on Thomas Bell won the Slovak Studies Association Award for 2016.

Out Of This Furnace is available through AmazonSmile. If you click on the link below to shop on Amazon, a portion of your purchase will be donated to the SASW.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1906440

Contributions to the SASW will only be made on purchases through the AmazonSmile link.

Please send your RSVP to rsvp@dcslovaks.org

New Book Available from Slavica Publishers – Into the Spotlight: New Writing from Slovakia

Slavica Publishers has recently published, Into the Spotlight: New Writing from Slovakia, which features sixteen Slovak authors who have been shortlisted for or have won some of the most prestigious Slovak and European literary awards. They represent the Slovak literary scene across the lines of gender, age, style and subject matter. Most importantly, all of them are living authors, engaging with today’s world and carrying on conversations with other contemporary writers and readers.

With contributions from: Veronika Šikulová – Uršuľa Kovalyk – Pavel Vilikovský – Jana Beňová – Viťo Staviarsky – Dušan Mitana – Balla – Pavol Rankov – Zuzana Cigánová – Monika Kompaníková – Michal Hvorecký – Lukáš Luk – Marek Vadas – Alta Vášová – Ivana Dobrakovová – Peter Macsovszky

Published with support from the Centre for Information on Literature/SLOLIA (Slovak Literature Abroad).

Advance praise for Into the Spotlight:

“Though Into the Spotlight is drawn from the work of writers from one of Europe’s smallest countries, this source reveals itself to be something like a magic lamp out of which comes a multitude of subjects, themes and styles well out of proportion to its size. Like the best writers this anthology brilliantly balances the specific and the universal. There are stories that could have taken place anywhere – of love and hate, beauty and ugliness, illness and music – stories distinctly and intriguingly Slovak – of a devout Slovak’s imprisonment in the Russian Gulag, the rough and tumble world of the country’s Roma – stories from other countries and continents, and stories that seem to come from other worlds entirely – of real or imaginary doubles and surreal nocturnal circuses.”

— Michael Stein, Literalab

Into the Spotlight: New Writing from Slovakia is available from https://slavica.indiana.edu/bookListings/Three_String_Books/Into_the_Spotlight

Noted Warhol Scholar Captivates Large Crowd at Slovak Embassy

Dr. Elaine Rusinko, a professor of Russian at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Andy Warhol scholar, presented a wide-ranging and fascinating talk on April 21st about pop artist Andy Warhol and his Rusyn heritage.  Enhanced by an extensive slide presentation, Dr. Rusinko established Warhol’s Rusyn ethnicity despite popular media referring to him as of Czech origin.  The Rusyns are a stateless minority in Slovakia and several neighboring countries. Dr. Rusinko described Warhol’s ancestral birthplace in Mikova in present-day Slovakia and the development of the Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce, Slovakia.  She noted Warhol has become one of the leading modern artists with a painting sold recently for more than $100 million.

Born in Pittsburgh, Andy was a talented artist at an early age and was influenced by the icons of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church. Through her slides, Dr. Rusinko was able to compare some similarities between these icons and several of Warhol’s works.  He was also heavily influenced and encouraged by his mother, Julia, who was widowed when Andy was 14 years old.  Julia also lived with Andy for more than twenty years during his New York career.

More than 70 persons attended the lecture at the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C.  The talk was co-sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

Copies of Rusinko’s monograph “We Are All Warhol’s Children”: Andy and the Rusyns were available at the event.  She is also the author of Straddling Borders: Literature  and Identity in Sub-Carpathian Rus.  Presently, Dr. Rusinko is writing a biography of Julia, Andy’s mother.

Slovak Easter Traditions: Hrudka Cheese

Hrudka is custard-type cheese that is part of a traditional Easter basket for Slovaks and other Slavic groups. Hrudka is made by gently simmering a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar until firms curds are formed, straining the mixture through cheesecloth and letting the curds from into a ball. Hrudka has a bland, sweet taste which is meant to symbolize the the moderation Christians should have in all things. An Easter basket is also comprised of other food items such as Paska, ham, sausage, eggs, horseradish, butter, bacon and salt. Each of these items also has a special religious significance. Since Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians fast during Lent, the food in the basket is not eaten until after Mass on Easter Sunday

The attached recipe was provided to us courtesy of Mary Fedor.

Mary Fedor’s Hrudka Recipe

Slovak Easter Traditions: Paska Bread

Paska is a Slovak bread that is traditionally eaten during Easter.  It is often the centerpiece of the traditional Easter basket that is blessed on Easter Sunday.  A traditional basket usually contains smoked meats, sausage, butter, hrudka (a sweet custard-like cheese), bread, salt, horseradish and pysanky eggs.  Since Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians fast during Lent, the food in the basket is not eaten until after Mass on Easter Sunday.  Each food item in the basket is symbolic of a religious theme.  Paska represents Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, and is considered to be the most important food in the basket to be blessed. Paska is typically baked into a round loaf and usually features a dough braid around the edge along with a decorative cross or other religious symbols made from dough placed on top.

The attached recipe was provided to us by the Belensky family.

Slovak Easter Paska Bread

 

Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art (4/21/2017)

April 21, 2017 
Embassy of the Slovak Republic 
3523 International Ct NW
Washington, DC
6:30 PM

Dr. Elaine Rusinko will make a slide presentation on “Andy Warhol: The Carpatho-Rusyn King of American Pop Art”

Andy Warhol is the world’s most famous American of Carpatho-Rusyn ancestry; the icons of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church were his first exposure to art.  The fall of communism in Eastern Europe (not long after Warhol’s unexpected 1987 death) gave rise to the Rusyn identity movement, which embraced the flamboyant pop artist, filmmaker, and jet setter as an iconic figurehead. Rusyns—traditional, religious, provincial—have reconstructed their own unique image of Andy, emphasizing aspects of him that have gone largely unnoticed. In turn, Warhol has had a significant impact on the Carpatho-Rusyn movement, and on the recognition of Rusyns worldwide.

This slide presentation establishes Warhol’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity and explores its influence on his art and his persona. It also looks at the Rusyns’ reception of Warhol, with a focus on the Warhola family’s ancestral village and the Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Slovakia. The presentation will demonstrate to art scholars and fans of pop culture that recognition of the Rusyn Andy Warhol contributes to a distinctive perspective on the American Andy Warhol.

Elaine Rusinko is Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After completing a Ph.D. in Russian literature at Brown University, she wrote numerous articles on modern Russian poetry. Upon the emergence of the Rusyn movement for identity in Eastern Europe in 1989, she turned her attention to Carpatho-Rusyn culture.  Rusinko is the author of Straddling Borders:  Literature and Identity in Subcarpathian Rus’ (2003). Her translations of present-day Rusyn literature were published as “God is a Rusyn”: An Anthology of Contemporary Carpatho-Rusyn Literature (2011). Her interest in Andy Warhol stems from their common Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic background. She is currently writing a biography of Andy’s mother, Julia Warhola.

Copies of Dr. Rusinko’s monograph, “We Are All Warhol’s Children”; Andy and the Rusyns, will be available for purchase.

Please send your RSVP to rsvp@dcslovaks.org

This event is co-sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

 

 

 

Accidental Hero at Ford’s Theatre – April 2nd

Ford’s Theatre Society, the American Friends of the Czech Republic, and Mr. and Mrs. Frederic V. Malek cordially invite you and a guest to attend a special performance of “The Accidental Hero,” a miraculous true story about freedom, World War II, and the inescapable question, “Who am I?”

Ford’s Theatre
511 Tenth Street, NW,
Washington, DC
Sunday, April 2, 2017

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Performance followed by a conversation with the artist.

“The Accidental Hero” is written and performed by Patrick Dewane, telling the true story of his grandfather, a World War II officer who miraculously liberated his own grandparents’ native villages in Czechoslovakia. 

Patrick Dewane’s grandfather refused to talk about his service in the war. Yet when he died, his basement yielded a treasure trove of typewritten accounts, photos and rare film footage. 

Dewane brings this archival material to glowing life as an enthralling, humorous and heartwarming tale of miraculous escapes and astonishing coincidences. Dewane takes on a dozen different roles as he powerfully recounts his grandfather’s journey from Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, and the end of WWII.

Reserve tickets online at www.fords.org/productions/accidental-hero/

Epiphany Church in Annandale, VA serving meals during Lent

Epiphany Church in Annandale, VA will be serving savory, meatless, Eastern European meals every Friday during Lent (March 3 – April 7) for dining-in and take-out. The menu will include pirohy (potato & cheese-filled), halushki (sauteed noodles with cabbage) and homemade vegetarian soups & desserts.

Meal items are priced separately. Quantities may vary.

Take-out: 4-7:00pm
Dine-in: 5-7:00pm

Slovak and Ukrainian handiwork and ceramics, egg decorating kits, nut rolls, and cookbooks will also be on sale. Sale times of these items may vary.

Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church
3410 Woodburn Rd.
Annandale, VA
(703) 573-3986
www.epiphanyofourlord.org