France Prešeren

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Portrait of France Prešeren (before 1849)

France Prešeren (formerly often Germanized Franz Preschern ; * December 3, 1800 in Vrba in the then Duchy of Carniola ; † February 8, 1849 in Kranj , then Krainburg) is considered the greatest Slovenian poet .


Prešeren's birthplace in Vrba
Memorial plaque in Klagenfurt: "The most important Slovenian poet worked here in 1832" - PEN Club Austria

France Prešeren was born the third of eight children to a rural family. After attending school in Reifnitz and Ljubljana , he studied in Vienna Law , where he became interested in poetry. After receiving his doctorate, he worked as a lawyer . During his studies in Vienna (1821-1828) he met the German-Carniolan poet Anton von Auersperg (pseudonym: Anastasius Grün ) at the Klinkowström Institute on Schlesingerplatz (memorial plaque) , as well as the Slovenian literary scholars Bartolomäus (Jernej) Kopitar and Matthias Tschop (Matija Čop) . In 1832 he moved to Klagenfurt . There he passed the bar exam at the Court of Appeal (memorial plaque on Neuer Platz) on May 26, which he almost failed because he was also doing research for the accused - this affected his entire further career; He applied several times in vain for a law firm, which he received in Krainburg (Kranj) in 1846. In Klagenfurt he came into contact with the Carinthian Slovenian writer Urban Jarnik , whom he visited in Moosburg , and with the spiritualist Anton Martin Slomšek . In Laibach (Ljubljana), where he lived from 1828 to 1846 as an employee of a law firm, the cosmopolitan found little approval and was lonely; his great love Julia Primitz (Julija Primic) wanted nothing to do with him, although part of the edition of Poezije had her name in the acrostic . In 1839 he met the worker Ana Jelovšek in her house, who bore him three children, but then left him. All alone he died of cirrhosis of the liver . Today he is considered the Slovenian national poet.


Prešeren's muse Julija Primic , painting by Matevž Langus

Prešeren wrote love and nature poetry as well as a great historical epic The Baptism on the Savica ( Krst pri Savici ). In 1847 his main work Poezije ( poetry ) appeared. With his German poems and sonnets , he is also part of German-language literature . His most important German-language work is The Great Gate ( Ta velik Vrata ), in which he explains his connection to Ljubljana.


Original manuscript Zdravljica , written in old Slovene script

Part of his poem Zdravljica is the Slovenian hymn today ; his portrait is on the reverse of the Slovenian 2 euro coin .

The main square of Ljubljana, Prešeren Square, was named after Prešeren .

The Slovenian Ministry of Culture has been awarding the so-called Great Prešeren Prize to one or two artists every year since 1947 . At the same time, also based at the Slovenian Ministry of Culture Prešeren Foundation awards up to six artists the Prize of Prešeren Foundation .

Fonts in German

in order of appearance

  • Presire sounds , translated by Edward Samhaber . Kleinmayr & Bamberg, Laibach 1880
  • Sonettenkranz , translated by Anton Frutek. Kleinmayr, Laibach 1901.
  • Poems , selection and epilogue by Peter Gerlinghoff. Edition New Paths, Berlin 1978, ISBN 3-88348-017-7 .
  • Poetry / Poezije. Selection of German translations , translated by France Prešéren, selection and epilogue by Jože Pogačnik (= History, Culture and Spiritual World of the Slovenes , Vol. 19). Trofenik, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-87828-176-5 (with a bibliography of the German translations).
  • Poems / Pesmi , German and Slovenian, translated by Klaus Detlef Olof, selected by France Pibernik and Franc Drolc (= Preseren's way into the world , vol. 1). Municipality / Mestna občina Kranj, Kranj 1998; New edition: Hermagoras, Klagenfurt 2000, ISBN 3-85013-580-2 .
  • German seals , published by Wilhelm Baum ( Tangenten series ). Kitab, Klagenfurt 1999, ISBN 3-902005-00-9 .
  • New letter - Nova pisaríja. Romance, stroll in zabavljivi napisi / terzines, canzones and pleasant stanzas. Transferred by Jozej Strutz. Edition Rapial edicija, Klagenfurt / Celovec 2017/18.


in order of appearance

  • Constantin von Wurzbach : Prešern, Franz . In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich . 23rd part. Kaiserlich-Königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Vienna 1872, pp. 267–269 ( digitized version ).
  • Peter von Radics : Anastasius Grün's teacher and friend. The Slovenian poet France Preschiren as a German poet. Biographical-literary study . Leipzig, 1882.
  • Stanislaus Hafner:  Prešeren France. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 8, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-7001-0187-2 , p. 266 f. (Direct links on p. 266 , p. 267 ).
  • Boris Paternu: France Prešeren. A Slovenian poet, 1800–1849 (= history, culture and intellectual world of the Slovenes , vol. 23). Slavica Verlag Dr. Anton Kovač, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-927077-07-0 .
  • Wilhelm Baum: France Prešeren, a Slovenian poet in Austria . In: Austria in history and literature , vol. 43 (1999), pp. 107–117.
  • Ralf Georg Bogner, Andreas Brandtner (Ed.): Intercultural Asymmetry. Edward Samhaber's translation of the Slovenian national author France Prešeren. With an edition of the “Preširenkänge” (1880) by Edward Samhaber . Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 1999, ISBN 3-205-99048-X .
  • Rudolf Neuhäuser: “Your poet has rewound the Slovenes' wreaths”. 12 essays on F. Prešeren and Slovenian poetry from Romanticism to Modernism. With a look back at Pan-Slavism and national rebirth . Mohorjeva, Klagenfurt / Ljubljana / Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-7086-0675-0 .

Web links

Commons : France Prešeren  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: France Prešeren  - Sources and full texts (Slovenian)

Individual evidence

  1. Erwin Köstler , From the cultureless people to the European avant-garde. Main lines of translation, presentation and reception of Slovenian literature in German-speaking countries , Peter Lang, Bern 2006, pp. 163, 164, 333.
  2. ^ Information on the website of the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia - Retrieved on July 19, 2010