In 2023 we mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the writer Ivan Tavčar. On the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, the Slovenian Government has designated 2023 as the year of Ivan Tavčar. Various events will take place throughout the year to mark the anniversary.
Ivan Tavčar (1851-1923) is considered one of the most important Slovenian authors of literary realism in the Slovenian lands, and was one of the leading politicians of the then Liberal Party.
Tavčar studied law in Vienna after finishing secondary school in Ljubljana and Novo mesto. In 1884, he opened a law office in Ljubljana and became a member of the Ljubljana City Council. In 1911, he was elected mayor of Ljubljana, a position he held for the next ten years. He was a co-founder of the Ljubljana Municipal Savings Bank, and supported various societies that worked to strengthen the Slovenian nation. He was also interested in sport, and in 1897 built the first tennis court in Slovenia on his estate in the Poljanska Valley. He was the president of the first Slovenian cycling organisation, the Slovenian Cyclists' Club, and for a time the oldest member of the Sokol gymnastic society. In recognition of his varied work and great importance for the Slovenian nation, he was awarded the title of honorary citizen in six municipalities (Celje, Kamnik, Kranj, Krško, Ljubljana, Šoštanj), and several streets and a primary school in Gorenja vas were named after him.
Tavčar is well known to the wider Slovenian public as the author of short stories, sketches, tales and novels, in which he mainly depicted life in his native Poljanska valley. He wrote from his secondary school years until his old age, and his literary opus comprises over forty works. His best-known titles include the novel Behind the Congress, the tale “Blossoms in Autumn”, the historical novel The Visoko Chronicle, and many others.
The Tavčar Year as a national project sends an important message – that our country understands culture as its core identity, and a value in itself.
It is also an opportunity to raise the profile of Slovenian literary classics, which have helped to build and bolster the importance and value of the Slovenian word.
Date: 28. December 2022
Time to read: 2 min