The aim of the study is to compare so called 'popular' fiction versus 'fine' literature. Differences are analyzed both from a structural as well as a cognitive point of view. The approach is not primarily theoretical; our contribution belongs to the field of a basic research. As a 'frame' of the analysis was used the genre of a legend, which helps to select some common features of particular works, just to reveal later their differences. The textual analysis manipulates with two modern novels based upon national legends: 'Cachticka pani' (Lady of Cachtice) by J. Niznansky and 'Andreas Bur Majster' (Andreas Bur Master) by J. Ciger-Hronsky. Although dealing with same emotions of fear, anger and violence, results emphasize opposite value levels of formation of 'popular' versus 'artistic' writing. While 'Cachticka pani' is a creation on a terrible woman (individual), who is defeated by a 'right-full' collective of opponents, modernistic 'Andreas Bur Majster' tells about a strong, noble-minded person, who is killed by an unfair collective. The main points of 'Cachticka pani' are: a negative hero, whose aim is never-ceasing physical beauty, that is why she uses force and commits violence to receive blood as a means of youth; an action conflict is social and epic; a collective of rivals is right-full; the story finishes with a happy-end; the genre is a melodramatic thriller. The main points of 'Andreas Bur Majster' are taken from a diametrically contrasting sphere: a positive character, who wants to exist in a pure, never-ending spiritual life, who prefers a renewal by a sacrifice instead of violence; an action conflict is moral and introvert; a collective of antagonists is unfair; the story is tragic and the genre is a balladic sermon. Thanks to the counter-value structure of both mentioned novels we can better understand needs of a common reader as well as the 'lonely' situation of a modern 'high' literature of the last century, which is said not to have so many readers.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.