By Dušan Mitana
“My Native Cemetery” novella is a literary grotesque from a striking Slovak village, where gossip, political disputes and neighbor quarrels are the order of the day. Dušan Mitana had started to write it two years before publication of his debut. It was supposed to parody the memoir genre. The first fragment about the old grave digger and his son came out in the magazine Mladá tvorba in 1968 under the title “A Grave Cut Out for a Wedding Night”. The next chapter was supposed to be published in 1970 in the final issue of the magazine which was, however, scrapped due to communist censorship. The author had finished and published the book only after the revolution. “For me, as an artist, nothing is taboo if it has a purpose and I process it artistically. But if something is self-serving in any sense, such as pornography, I don’t consider it taboo, but I’m simply not interested in it,” says Dušan Mitana (1946), a leading Slovak author who has been publishing his poems and prose since the 1970s. He also worked as an editor in literary magazines and wrote several television scripts.