Show Less
Restricted access

Justice and Redemption

Anthropological Realities and Literary Visions by Ivan Cankar

Irena Avsenik Nabergoj

The book shows Ivan Cankar (1876–1918) as the first Slovenian writer to examine the human conscience, justice, guilt and punishment in a way comparable to Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and influenced also by the Bible. Given Cankar’s own bitter childhood experience of poverty and his awareness of the ceaseless injustice which rules the world, he has compassion for the wrongdoings carried out by people from lower social realms, especially children, and is all the more critical towards higher classes who cause their suffering. In his last book, Dream Visions, he reveals his experience of the First World War. He encompasses feelings of fear and anguish before death and surpasses them with the faith in redemption of all suffering people.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Index and Description of Pictures


1. Ivan Cankar in Vienna, 1906. Photograph: Fran Vesel. (Page 32)

2. Ivan Cankar, “The Solemn Mass” [“Velika maša“] from Dream Visions [Podobe izsanj]. The first page of the manuscript. Held at the National and University Library, Ljubljana. (Pages 52, 53) The first paragraph of this sketch, which Cankar wrote in the homeland during his late creative period, reads:

Longing for prayer and consolation, I went into the parish church which had blessed my youth many, many times. Slowly I climbed the dusky, winding stairs to the choirloft, so that I might be near the organ, and that the clouds of incense, filled with prayer and sweet fragrance, might rise from the altar straight into my soul. In this mysterious gloom the church seemed tremendously enlarged, but it was empty and quiet without a trace of life. I was weary, and my heart was full of sorrow. Mysteriously the damp coolness of the air caressed my face and breathed a strange heaviness into my soul. The statues of saints looked cold and immovable, standing on the altars like dark shadows. The pictures on the walls were blurred and formless, like huge blotches of gloom, and in front of the main altar [glimmered the eternal light].   Translation: Anton Družina

3. Ivan Cankar, “The Solemn Mass” [“Velika maša”], from Dream Visions [Podobe iz sanj].The last page of the manuscript. Held at the National and University Library, Ljubljana. Year of publication:...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.