Images of the Netherlands in War with the Little Netherlands (1965): An Unstaged Two-Act Play by Rudolf Sloboda

Keywords: imagology, chronotopes, Rudolf Sloboda, absurdist theatre, communist censorship


The Slovak writer Rudolf Sloboda is considered one of the leading authors of Slovak literature since World War II. His oeuvre is divided into prose, which, according to Sloboda expert Zora Prušková, can be called extremely autobiographical, and several collections of poems, essays and children’s books, but in addition he also wrote several film scenarios and two theatre plays. Most biographers forget to mention the two-act play that was published in 1965 in two issues of the literary magazine Slovenské pohľady as Vojna s malým Holandskom (War with the Little Netherlands), because this play was never performed.

In this contribution, some striking features of the play are explained. It also outlines the context in which the play originated, which was accompanied by censorship by the Communist regime. Finally, it is argued that, if the geographical names and the characters are examined closely, a chronotopical counterpart to Alfred Jarry’s absurdist play Ubu Roi was created here, with the Netherlands deemed an abstract enough concept.


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