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Ivan Cankar: (1876-1918) Slovenian writer and playwright

Born in Vrhnika, Slovenia on May 10, 1876, Cankar was born into a poor family.  Determined to change the course of his life, he moved to Vienna and earned wages as a writer.  He eventually moved back to Slovenia in 1907.  (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, p. 803)

During a time of social and political upheaval in the late nineteenth century, Cankar became a political activist and was imprisoned for his criticism of the Austrian regime. He became briefly involved in the Yugoslav Social Democratic Party and in 1907 ran for parliament, but was not elected.  In 1913, he delivered a speech to further a Yugoslav federal republic titled, “Slovenes and Yugoslavs”, advocating that both peoples should have national autonomy.  (Plut-Pregelj, Leopoldina and Carole Rogel, Historical Dictionary of Slovenia, p.32-3, 1996).

He is perhaps best known for his short stories, novels, dramas, and poems. “Ivan Cankar has been called ‘the outstanding master of Slovenian prose’ and his works, notably The Ward of Our Lady of Mercy and The Bailiff Yerney and His Rights, influenced a generation of young Slovenian writers.”  His collected works were edited by Izidor Canker in 20 volumes. (Lonely Planet publications)

“The bronze head of Ivan Cankar in the Jugoslav Garden is the work of Rudolph Mafko, the only Slovene sculptor in the United States.” (Lederer, Carla. Their Paths Are Peace. p.77)


Photographs of the Garden

Further Reading:

A Short Biography

Independent Slovenia: Origins, Movements, Prospects: A Recommended Reading, Lonely Planet Publications

Cleveland State University Library, Special Collections.

The Slovenian National Home, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

History of the Slovenes in Cleveland, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The Slovenian American National Council, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition. Vol. 2, p. 803, 2002.

Plut-Pregelj, Leopoldina and Carole Rogel, Historical Dictionary of Slovenia. Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 32-3, 1996.