Manuscripts of the Slovenian Poet France Prešeren Will Be Displayed in Cleveland (USA)

On the eve of the Slovenian poetry farther France Prešeren’s birthday, they will honour his memory in Cleveland (USA). The manuscript of his works that have been found this year will be displayed in the local Slovenian national house.

These are two manuscripts of the France Prešeren’s poems: “Farewell to Youth” (“Slovo od mladosti”) and “Doctor” (“Dohtar”) that have been found by Luka Zibelnik, a teacher of the Slovenian language at the State University of Cleveland and a volunteer of the local Slovenian Museum and Archives. The invaluable discoveries will be presented to the public on 2 December 2016. The exhibition will involve a charity concert, at which the famous Slovenian singer and songwriter Vlado Kreslin will take part. All funds collected will be spent on the needs of the exhibition.

The manuscripts will be exhibited at the Slovenian Museum and Archives of Cleveland where the Prešeren’s office will be opened, in which visitors will be able to see the poet’s portrait painted in 1902 by Alojz Šubic. Three years later, Šubic took the portrait to the United States. In Slovenia, this painting has long been considered as lost. Among other exhibits, there is a series of facsimiles, rare editions of the “Poezije” collection and books about Prešeren as well as the “Mati Slovenija” painting by the Slovenian artist Maksim Gaspari.

The Manuscripts of France Prešeren found by Luka Zibelnik belonged to a US citizen of Slovenian origin Evgen Favetti. In April 2016, Favetti decided to present them to the Slovenian Museum and Archives of Cleveland.

The works by Prešeren are in good condition and have the author’s signature. The poem “Farewell to Youth” (“Slovo od mladosti”) was written using the Bohorič alphabet, while the “Doctor” (“Dohtar”) was already written using the Gaj’s Latin alphabet. In some places, the manuscripts differ from the 5–6 well-known versions of these poems. “Farewell to Youth” (“Slovo od mladosti”) dates back to the period before the publication of the first issue of the “Krajnska čbelica” journal (1830), and “Doctor” (“Dohtar”) dates back to the period between the publication of the fourth issue of the “Krajnska čbelic” journal (1833) and before the release of the censored collection “Poezije” (1846).