Drago Jancar

Drago Jancar
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Drago Jancar

Drago Jancar, born in Maribor in 1948, is the most a prominent living Slovenian writer. He is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and playwright. His works have been translated into many European languages, and his plays have enjoyed a number of foreign productions. Among his novels are Galjot (The Galley Slave) (1978), and Severni sij (Northern Lights, see the complete review) (1984), set in the author's native town in 1938. Posmehljivo pozelenje (Mocking Desire)(1993) is a melancholy autobiographical account of a central European encounter with American culture, while Zvenenje v glavi (Headnoise)(1998) is an allegorical interpretation of a prison revolt which has recently been filmed. Jancar's collections of short stories and novellas include Pogled angela (The Look of an Angel)(1992), and Augsburg in druge resnine pripovedi (Augsburg and Other Real Tales)(1994). A student of law, editor and free-lance writer, Jancar sees himself as a critic both of society and of the modern world. In 1974 he was taken into custody over alleged propaganda. Since the political changes in former Yugoslavia, Jancar has continued to voice his views strindently. In his Kratko porocilo iz dolgo obleganega mesta (Short Report on a City Long Besieged) (1996), he depicts Sarajevo as 'the black hole of the continent' and declares himself an opponent of totalitarianism. In Mocking Desire Jancar describes in precise terms an East-European's failure to assimilate himself to American culture: history may have moved on from East-West conflict, but people remain enstranged from one another. One encounters many forgotten people in Jancar's work. The novel Headnoise, for example, shows a man crushed by the enormity of world events who travels to various war-zones from Vietnam to the Dominican Republic only to have ennui and lethargy overcome his revolutionary verve. Jancar spent 1985 in the USA as Fullbright Fellow. He was active in the democratization of his native country as President of the Slovenian P.E.N. Center between 1987-91, and in 1993 he received the highest Slovenian literary award, the France-Preseren Prize, for his lifetime achievement. In 1994 he won the European Short Story Award. He lives in Ljubljana.










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