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William Ritter Voyage en Slovaquie (1903-1914) – Images d’un pays rêvé.

Abstract : In 1903 the Swiss journalist William Ritter set out to walk through the Myjava region in the foothills of the Lesser Carpathians in the westernmost corner of Slovakia, which was still a part of the Kingdom of Hungary at the time. It was a revelation: he kept returning to this region until 2014, his passion for it inspired by the myth of a Slovak countryside protected from the effects of modernisation. However, Ritter, a dandy, aesthete and lover of boys, embellished this myth to fit his own dreams. He tirelessly made notes, drew, took photographs and enjoyed a relationship with Janko, who became his lover. He published articles on politics to pay the bills and wrote two sociographic novels (The/A Little Slovak Girl, 1903, and Slovak Stubbornness, 1910) and a study of the architecture of Myjava. But although he encouraged his friends – including Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, the future Le Corbusier – to travel there, this country remained his own secret domain [private passion?]. During the years after 1900 Ritter was the author of pioneering articles on Mahler (the first in 1901), Studies of Foreign Art (1906), the first monograph in French on the Czech composer Smetana (1907), and reportage on Moravia and the painter Uprka (1912). But he could not lift the veil on his Slovakia. This book of images was inspired by the restoration at the Neuchâtel Library of discovered photographs, which it complements with samples of graphic work and written sources.
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Contributor : Xavier Galmiche Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 3, 2019 - 3:07:09 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 8:34:02 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02119002, version 1


Xavier Galmiche, Ritter William, Jiránek Miloš. William Ritter Voyage en Slovaquie (1903-1914) – Images d’un pays rêvé.. Eur'ORBEM, 2, Tome 1 p. 1-260, T II p. 262-469, 2019, Cultures et sociétés d'Europe centrale et orientale, Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu, 979-10-96982-11-0. ⟨hal-02119002⟩



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