Slovenian Writer Receives Austria’s Highest State Award for Achievements in Arts and Culture

The 81-year-old Slovenian writer, Florjan Lipuš, a corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, a winner of the France Prešeren Award, received the Austria’s highest state award for outstanding achievements in the field of arts and culture. The awarding ceremony was held in Vienna on Monday, 1 October 2018. The award was presented by the Federal Minister for Arts, Culture and Media Gernot Bluemel.

Florjan Lipuš is the author of such aphorisms as “Only culture makes us equal” and “Slovenian language is the festive clothing of the nation.” His life is full of dramatic twists and turns. He became an orphan very early. He was pulling himself up by his own bootstraps changing several professions, from the postman to the insurance agent. He always strove for knowledge and, having received a pedagogical education, he worked as a primary school teacher until his retirement. The main themes of his works are national socialism, deportation and repression against his compatriots, humiliation of Slovenia and the Slovenian language in Austria.

The best-known books by Lipuš are “Mistakes of Student Tjaž” (Zmote dijaka Tjaža), “Freckles on the Heart” (Srčne pege), “Oppression” (Stesnitev), “Boštjan’s Flight” (Boštjanov let), and “Gravel” (Gramoz).

Commenting on the receipt of the Austria’s highest state award, the writer noted that he regarded it as a kind of reparation for the offenses caused in Austria to Carinthian Slovenes.