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Ivan Cankar. 10 May 1876 – 11 December 1918. Nejc Maks Riossa , Matevž Dobravec, Gregor Čeč. Biography.

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Ivan cankar

Ivan Cankar

10 May 1876 – 11 December 1918

Nejc Maks Riossa, Matevž Dobravec, Gregor Čeč


  • Ivan Cankar was born on 10.5.1876 in Vrhnika. His house was on the hill named Klanec where lived poorer residents of Vrhnika. Ivan’s father was a tailor and his mother was a housewife. Because Ivan was so talented the rich locals of Vrhnika helped him. In 1882 he had started whit primary school and he finished it in 1888. All his life he lived in starvation and in the lack of funds. That’s way he changed many apartments. Every year he spent his holidays in Vrhnika or in Pulje at relative’s place. In 1886 he wet to university in Vienna. Next year his mother had died so he stopped studying for some time. In the 1914 the court condemned him because of the political reasons. Meanwhile he was in the jail his father had died. In the summer 1918, he fell downstairs and his injuries were very complicated.


  • Ivan Cankar wrote around 30 books and is considered one of the primary exponents of Slovene modernist literature, alongside OtonŽupančič, DragotinKette and JosipMurn. Cankar is also considered one of Europe's most important fin de siècle. He dealt with social, national and moral themes. In Slovenia, his best-known works are the play Hlapci ("Serfs"), the satire Pohujšanje v doliniŠentflorijanski ("Scandal in the St. Florian Valley") and the novel Na klancu ("On the Hill"). However, his importance for Slovene and European literature probably lies in his symbolist sketches and other short stories, which, in their mixture of symbolism, modernism and even expressionism, convey a high degree of originality.


  • Cankar was a relatively fragile personality, both emotionally and physically, but showed an unusually strong and persistent intellectual vigour.He was a sharp thinker, who was able of poignant criticism of both his environment and himself. He was also full of paradoxes and loved irony and sarcasm. He was an unusually sentimental and somehow ecstatic nature, intensely sensitive to ethical issues. He was very introspective: his works, which are to a large extent autobiographic, became famous for the ruthless analysis of his own deeds and misdeeds.


  • Cankar was an influential author already during his lifetime. His works were widely read and Cankar was the first author in Slovene language who could make a living exclusively from writing. He became even more influential after his death. Due to his insistence on the cultural and national specificity of the Slovene people, Cankar became the referential figure for the young generations of Slovene intellectuals who rejected the centralistic and unitaristic policies of the Serb political elite in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the early 1920s, a group of young Catholics, mostly of Christian Socialist convictions, took the title of one of Cankar's minor novels, Križnagori ("Cross on the Mountain"), as the name of their journal. The group, known as "Crusaders" (Križarji), became the focal point in the emergence of the Christian left in Slovenia in the 1920s and 1930s.


  • Ivan Cankar died on 11 December in Cukrarna in Ljubljana. He is buried in Žale next to Murn and Župančič.