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Ivan Cankar


Ivan Cankar was born in Vrhnika near Ljubljana in 1876. His father was a poor worker who emigrated to Bosnia soon after Ivan’s birth, leaving Ivan to be brought up by his mother. While at technical school in Ljubljana, he started writing poetry. He then went to the University of Vienna, first studying engineering and then Slavic philology. He became interested in current trends in European literature. He returned to Vrhnika for a while but then returned to Vienna after his mother’s death. At this time, he moved away from naturalism and realism and took up spiritualism, symbolism and idealism. His political ideas moved towards socialism. He joined a Marxist party, the Yugoslav Social Democratic Party, and stood for parliament, but lost.

After a brief stay in Sarajevo he returned to Ljubljana, where he became more interested in a separate Slovenian culture and travelled around the country, giving lectures on the idea. After promoting the idea of unification of the Southern Slavs, he was imprisoned for a week and then, again, at the beginning of World War I he was imprisoned for his pro-Serbian opinions but soon released. He was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army but released because of poor health. He died in 1918 as a result of the Spanish flu pandemic. He wrote novels, plays and poetry but is most famous in Slovenia for his essays.

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Ivan Cankar
Ivan Cankar
Ivan Cankar


1911 Volja in moč (stories)
1913 Milan in Milena (novel)
1876 Črtice1918) (essays)
1876 Tuje Življenje1918) (essays)
1900 Jakob Ruda (drama)
1901 Za narodov blagor (drama)
1901 Knjiga za lahkomiselne ljudi (stories)
1902 Kralj na Betajnovi (drama)
1902 Tujci (novel)
1903 Na klancu (novel)
1903 Ob zori (stories)
1904 Hiša Marije Pomočnice (The Ward of Our Lady of Mercy) (novel)
1905 Križ na gori (novel)
1905 Martin Kačur (Martin Kačur: The Biography of an Idealist) (novel)
1905 V mesečini (stories)
1906 Nina (novel)
1907 Pohujšanje v dolini šentflorjanski (drama)
1907 Krpanova kobila (essays)
1907 Marta (novel)
1907 Hlapec Jernej in njegova pravica (The Bailiff Yerney and his Rights )
1908 Novo življenje (novel)
1908 Zgodbe iz doline šentflorjanske
1909 Sosed Luka
1910 Hlapci (drama)
1910 Bela krizantema (essays)
1911 Lepa Vida (drama)
1920 Mimo življenja (My life and Other Sketches) (stories)
1920 Podobe iz sanj (Dream Visions and Other Selected Stories) (stories)
1922 Romantične duše (drama)
1998 Poems