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Marjan Rožanc

Marjan Rožanc
Born (1930-11-21)21 November 1930
Devica Marija na Polju, Drava Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now part of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Died 18 September 1990(1990-09-18) (aged 59)
Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia
Occupation Writer, essayist, playwright

Marjan Rožanc (21 November 1930 – 18 September 1990) was a Slovenian author, playwright and journalist. He is mostly known for his essays, and is considered one of the foremost essayists in the Slovene language, along with Ivan Cankar, Jože Javoršek and Drago Jančar, and as a great master of style.

He was born in a working-class suborb of Polje in Ljubljana, Slovenia (then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). He attended high school during World War Two, when the Province of Ljubljana was occupied by Italian troops. After the war, he shortly worked as a manual worker. In 1950, he was drafted in the Yugoslav People's Army, serving in Požarevac, Serbia. Because of his non-comformist attitudes, he was accused of "hostile propaganda" against the Communist regime, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was released in 1955, and returned to Slovenia.

He settled in Maribor, where he started a career as a journalist. In the early 1950s, he moved back to Ljubljana, where he took up a career as a freelance writer and columnist. He became involved in a circle of young intellectuals known as the Critical generation. He also became a close friend of the Christian Socialist poet Edvard Kocbek and the existentialist playwright Dominik Smole. In third period, he grew closer to Christian ideals, especially through the influence of Christian existentialist thinkers such as Søren Kierkegaard and Miguel de Unamuno.

He became a co-editor of the alternative independent literary journal Perspektive and later also the director of the experimental theatre called Stage 57 (Oder 57). In 1964, the theatre tried to stage one of Rožanc's critical plays, entitled Greenhouse, but the Communist regime violently interrupted the staging. Rožanc established connection with Slovene Roman Catholic intellectuals from Trieste (Italy), critical towards the Yugoslav Communist system, and published several articles in the journal Most, edited by Boris Pahor and Alojz Rebula. He was again sentenced for two years and a half, but released on parole. In the 1970s, he worked as a sport manager in Ljubljana. In 1979, he published his most famous novel, "Love" (Ljubezen), an autobiographical account of the everyday life of a growing child in Ljubljana during World War Two. In the same year, he settled in the Kras region in the Slovenian Littoral, and continued to publish essays and short stories in various Slovenian journals. In 1987, he was among the authors of the Contributions to the Slovenian National Program.

In 1990, he actively supported the candidature of

  • Literature in Context
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In 1993, the Rožanc Award for the best essay in Slovene language was named after him.

He died in Ljubljana.


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