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Prešeren’s Manuscripts On Display in Cleveland

The day before Slovenia celebrates France Prešeren’s birthday with various cultural events, a tribute to the poet will take place in Cleveland. There, the Slovenian National Home will put on display two newly discovered manuscripts by Prešeren; the documents were unveiled to the public over the summer in Ljubljana.

The manuscripts of two poems by Prešeren, A Farewell to Youth (Slovo od mladosti) and Doc (Dohtar) were discovered by Luka Zibelnik, the lecturer of the Slovenian language at Cleveland State University and volunteer at the Slovenian Museum and Archives in Cleveland. The precious documents will be unveiled to the public in Cleveland on December 2. On the occasion, Vlado Kreslin will hold a concert with local musical guests. The concert is intended to raise funds for display cases.

The cases will be on display at the Slovenian Museum and Archives in Cleveland, where a special “Prešeren Room” will also be opened. In addition to manuscripts, a portrait of the poet made in 1902 by Alojz Šubic and taken to the U.S three years later will also be unveiled. In Slovenia, the painting was long thought to have been lost. The exhibition will also include several facsimiles, editions of Prešeren’s Poetry, books about the poet, as well as a painting by Maksim Gaspari titled Mother Slovenia.

As has been reported, Zibelnik found the uncatalogued versions of Prešeren’s poetry manuscripts earlier this year with the assistance of the Slovenian Consul General in Cleveland Andrej C. Rode. The owner of the manuscripts, Slovenian-American Evgen Faavetti, decided in April to donate the manuscripts to the Slovenian Museum and Archives in Cleveland.

Both manuscripts are signed and in a good condition. A Farwell to Youth is written in the old Bohorič script, while Doc is written in the Gaj script. In some parts, the two manuscripts differ from the previously known versions of the poems. A Farewell to Youth dates to a period before it was published in the first issue of Krajnska čbelica in 1830, while Doc dates to a period after it was published in the fourth issue of the same publication in 1833 – and before the censored manuscripts of Poetry from 1846.

Source: rtvslo.si | M. K. Translated by J. B.

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