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{newsletter} > Info > Slovenian culture

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France Prešeren and Charles Dickens


I am sure you know who Charles Dickens was.

Born on 7th February 1812 in Hampshire, England Charles Dickens had to wait more than 20 years to reach first success as a writer. In 1838 his most famous novel, Oliver Twist was published. The book was translated in many languages, including Slovene in 1911. A tribute to 200th anniversary of Dickens´ birth there are several celebrations and book-lovers gatherings taking place allover the world, especially in England. 

But who was France Prešeren?

Born on 3rd December 1800 in Vrba, a little village in Gorenjska Region of Slovenija France Prešeren was the third child of a farmer. Already in his early years Prešeren has shown a huge interest in books, so when he was 8 years old his parents sent him to spent two years with his uncle, an educated priest. Later on he visited primary school in Ribnica then secondary school in Ljubljana. After philosophy studies, he went to Vienna, Austria to study law. Even if his parents wanted him to become a priest instead of a lawyer, he finished law school in 1828 and started to work in the legal office of famous lawyer Baumgartner in Ljubljana. Even if being successful at work Prešerens´ life has changed when he met Matija Čop, professor and a publisher. Čop himself ecouraged Prešeren topublish and write poems and sonnets that could be compared with work of best romanticism poets at the time.His style of writing was influenced by the famous Camoes, brothers Schlegel, Goethe, Petrarca and Schiller, when the theme of writing was mostly the unreachable love Prešeren felt for Julija Primic, a rich girl he met in the church of Trnovo (close to the old town-centre of Ljubljana).

Prešeren died on 8th february 1849 so 8th february is the National cultural day in Slovenia. How important Prešeren is to Slovene nation proves also the national anthem which consists of a part of Prešerens´ poem ˝Zdravljica˝.

Tonight I am going to attend one of the many cultural evenings in honour of France Prešeren. If you are currently on a holiday in Slovenia, I recommend you to ˝feel the vibe of the culture˝ too and visit a concert, theatre play or poem reading evening.