Slovenian Literature

Slovenian literature. The Freising Monuments (10th – 11th centuries), one of the earliest Slavic linguistic monuments, are the oldest evidence of Slovene literature, which, however, was not continued in the following centuries. See history of Slovenia on proexchangerates.

It was not until the middle of the 16th century that a continuous tradition was introduced in the course of the Reformation – in close connection with German Protestantism. P. Trubar, the central figure of the Slovene Reformation movement, published the first Slovene books in Germany, where he lived in emigration: Catechism (1550/51), Abecedarium, translation of the New Testament (from 1557, complete edition 1582). J. Dalmatin continued his work with the first complete translation of the Bible (1584). The first Slovenian grammar, still strongly influenced by the Latin model (»Arcticae horulae«, 1584) comes from A. Bohorič. These works laid the foundations for a written Slovene language, but without secular literature being able to emerge. The sermon literature of Janez Svetokriški (* 1647, † 1714), which was also influenced by Abraham a Sancta Clara, is part of the baroque literature.

The ecclesiastical theme dominated until the late 18th century. It was not until around 1780 that a secular literature gradually emerged with the circle around Baron Žiga Zois (* 1747, † 1819). a. by the playwright Anton Tomaž Linhart (* 1756, † 1795) with comedies based on the model of P. de Beaumarchais, which he masterfully adapted to the local milieu, and was represented by the folk song lyric poet V. Vodnik.

Young Slovenian literature reached its classical climax in the Romantic period with the formally perfect, rich poetry of F. Prešeren and his congenial adaptations (including G. A. Bürger’s ballad “Lenore”). At the same time, the prerequisites for an independent written Slovene language had been created so that the The goal of Illyrism, represented by S. Vraz – a common written language for Serbs, Croats and Slovenes – was not supported by the latter.

Slovenian narrative prose, represented by v. a. by F. Levstik, who suggested a reference to German and English literature and who endeavored to standardize the Slovene language in numerous philological works; by his pupil J. Jurčič, the creator of the first Slovene novel (»Deseti brat«, 1866; German »The tenth brother«), as well as by the narrator and poet S. Jenko and by J. Stritar, who also promoted Slovenian literature through critical work.

The peasant and bourgeois-liberal narrative themes as well as the artistic processes of Slovenian realism were based on German and Russian models (Janko Kersnik, * 1852, † 1897; A. Aškerc; I. Tavčar).

Naturalism was represented by Fran Govekar (* 1871, † 1949) and Zofka Kveder (* 1878, † 1926).

Towards the end of the 19th century, under the influence of Western European literatures, modernism emerged, shaped by the lyric poets Dragotinkette (* 1876, † 1899), J. Murn and O. Župančič and I. Cankar, whose versatile work spanned the first two decades certain. F.S. Finžgar and Franc Ksaver Meško (* 1874, † 1964) should be mentioned as narrators and dramatists with a Christian-social orientation.

The period after the First World War and the annexation of Slovenia to Yugoslavia (1918) was shaped by Expressionism, v. a. Ivan Pregelj (* 1883, † 1960), T. Seliškar, Á Vodnik, Miran Jarc (* 1900, † 1942), E. Kocbek and the narrator and playwright S. Grum.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the socially committed literature of the neorealist storytellers France Bevk (* 1890, † 1970), Juš Kozak (* 1892, † 1964), Anton Ingolič (* 1907, † 1992), Miško Kranjec (* 1908) dominated, † 1983), Prežihov Voranc, C. Kosmačand Ivan Potrč (* 1913, † 1993), who also followed this orientation in the 1950s. Božo Vodušek (* 1905, † 1978) emerged as a poet and B. Kreft as a playwright. The meditative poetry of A. Gradnik is considered to be an important achievement of Slovenian literature in the interwar period and the constructivist poems of the late S. Kosovel.

After the Second World War, Slovenian literature was briefly under the influence of socialist realism, which was overcome after the 3rd Yugoslavian Writers’ Congress in Ljubljana (1952), at which the influential M. Krleža advocated the primacy of art over any ideology. The still prevailing war and partisan themes have now been expanded to include new aspects such as the problem of people as victims of the revolution (Kocbek, »Strah in pogum«, 1951). In poetry, too, general human questions and questions about artistic freedom came to the fore; the intimate sphere (intimism) treated v. a. the poetry of Ivan Minatti (* 1924, † 2012), Kajetan Kovič (* 1931, † 2014), Janez Menart (* 1929, † 2004), Tone Pavček (* 1928, † 2011), Gregor Strniša (* 1930, † 1987) and Lojze Krakar (* 1926, † 1987).

Zajc and T. Šalamun are considered to be the most important poets of the post-war period. In the prose, the authors of the interwar period as well as Anton Ingolič (* 1907, † 1992) and Pavle Zidar (* 1932, † 1992) continued the socially oriented realism. Problems of the Slovenes in the Trieste area are dealt with in the intellectual-reflexive narrative prose Alojz Rebulas (* 1924, † 2018). B. Pahor addressed the difficult fate of the Slovenian victims of Italian and German fascism. Vitomil Zupan (* 1914, † 1987), A. Hieng, Beno Zupančič (* 1925, † 1980), developed new narrative methods, Branko Hofman (* 1929, † 1991) and Marjan Rožanc (* 1930, † 1990). In the drama Primož Kozak (* 1929, † 1981) emerged with existentialist dramas, Dominik Smole (* 1929, † 1992) with absurd dramas.

Innovative poetological approaches were also evident in the 1960s / 1970s, especially in Kajetan Kovič (* 1931, † 2014), as well as in the modernist poetry of Niko Grafenauer (* 1940). The Slovenian contemporary prose with R. Šeligo, L. Kovačič, Jože Snoj (* 1934) and the Carinthian Slovenian F. Lipuš, who in his satirical-grotesque prose, deals with the national existence of the ethnic minority, finds diverse and interesting references to the modern European novel grapples. A master of the aphorism is Žarko Petan (* 1929, † 2014). Slovenian literature shows an extremely diverse creative spectrum, into which the younger generation with Svetlana Makarović (* 1939), D. Jančar, Milan Jesih (* 1950) and Uroš Kalčič (* 1951) fits. The level of stage work is also remarkable, in which, in addition to authors such as Hieng, Smole, Strniša and Zajc, Dušan Jovanović (* 1939, † 2020) and the narrator D. Jančar have made a name for themselves.

After Slovenia gained state sovereignty in 1991, a new generation of young poets, including Uroš Zupan (* 1963), Maja Vidmar (* 1961), Alojz Ihan (* 1961) and Aleš Šteger (* 1973), came into the public eye. The postmodernists include the prose writers Vlado Žabot (* 1958), Feri Lainšček (* 1959) and Andrej Blatnik (* 1963). Maja Novak (* 1960) began with ambitious literary crime stories and Jani Virk (* 1962) processed the social upheavals after the end of socialism in a literary way.

Slovenian Literature