Pavel Vilikovsky, widely seen as one of the most important and popular contemporary Slovak writers, died in Bratislava at the age of 78 in February 2020.
A writer, translator and journalist, Pavel Vilikovsky was born at the height of World War II in 1941 in Slovakia’s Zilina region, but spent most of his childhood in capital Bratislava. He first studied film directing at Prague’s renowned FAMU cinema school, before coming back to Bratislava to study Slovak and English languages. After debuting with a collection of short stories in 1965, he became, in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the most prominent writers of the new generation in then-Czechoslovakia.
“I’ve never had the honour of experiencing easy writing. It’s always been a pure grind to me”, he admitted once, but went on to win numerous literary awards throughout his prolific career, including two Anasoft Litera prizes for contemporary literature, the most prestigious in Slovakia. One of the most translated Slovak authors particularly known for his scathing use of irony and parody, his most famous works include Escalation of Feeling (Eskalacia citu, 1989) and Fleeting Snow (Letmy sneh, 2014). He also translated many novels of prominent authors such as Joseph Conrad, Malcolm Lowry, Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Wolf or William Faulkner into Slovak.