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{newsletter} > Info > Slovenian culture

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About France Prešeren, the greatest Slovene poet


France Prešeren is considered the leading poet of Slovenian literature. He was born on 3rd of December, 1800, in Vrba, Upper Carniola, in a part of what was then Habsburg Monarchy and is today Slovenia. In general, Prešeren's life is considered to be unhappy. He had to confront with constant rejections - he applied for a job as a lawyer numerous times and was unsuccesful until shortly before his death. His personal life was also very unstable, the unfulfilled love of his life, Julija Primic, has never shown interest in him. Beside that, he witnessed tragic deaths of several of his closest friend. He received some support during his lifetime, but mostly, he remained unacknowledged. Acclamation of his work mostly began only after his death. Considering these factors, it probably comes as no surprise that he had severe drinking problems and tried to take his life more than once. He died on Thursday, 8th February 1849, in Kranj, after a long ilness.

His poetry is acclaimed not only nationally, but also by the European literature standards. His lyrics are known to be deeply emotional but, at the same time, never purely sentimental. He introduced several new genres to Slovenian poetry, including ballad, sonnet wreath, ghazal and pattern poetry. His esthetically most accomplished poems were written between the years 1830 and 1835, including The Wreath of Sonnets and The Sonnets of Unhappiness. He is considered to be a national poet in Slovenia. The seventh stanza of one of his most well known songs, Zdravljica, became the national anthem of Slovenia in 1990. Today, his effigy can be seen on Slovenian two-euro coin.