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WODNIK Valentin

( Outstanding Slovene Enlightenment)

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Biography WODNIK Valentin
photo WODNIK Valentin
1758-1819)
This man, stocky, medium height, with a round face and blue eyes, there is a remarkable kindness, a cheerful disposition and a huge capacity for work. For his time he was the son of the Slovene peasant, was a highly educated: mastered several European languages (French and Italian, for example, learned 'through their own diligence').

Even in early youth, being a student of the Jesuit school, Vodnik becomes a member of literary society, founded in 1773 in the Augustinian Monastery in Ljubljana monk Marco Pohlinym. Future priests inspired the idea of father Marko, who advocated the revival of the Slovenian language and literature, education of the people, under the authority of the Austrian Habsburgs.

. Vodnik diligently studying the habits and customs of their countrymen - the inhabitants of the province of Slovenian Krajina, recording old songs and legends, tries his hand at poetry
. His early, largely imitative classical authors (especially Horace and Virgil) works: ode, elegy, a poem 'in case' - have been recognized. They were printed in the anthology 'Pisanitsa' - the first collection of secular poetry in the Slovenian language, which came out in the years 1779-1781. One of the poems of the young water experts, 'Pleased krainets', is simple in content and easily form. In this monologue Slovenian peasant's, praising his work in the field, the poet was first used by the rhythm of alpine folk dance songs ( 'poskochnitsy'). The first literary success made the young priest famous.

Thanks to the famous Ljubljana patron, Baron Sigismund Tsoysa, Vodnik was soon transferred to serve in one of the parishes of Ljubljana - at that time a small town, the capital of Carniola. He immediately accepted into the circle Tsoysa, uniting a number of representatives of Slovenian intellectuals who are familiar with the works of the European Enlightenment and shared many of their views. Together with the historian and playwright Alexander T. Linhart, scientists, and E. B. Kumerdeem Kopitar Vodnik has implemented important initiatives that were the basis for the program to revive the Slovenian language and culture.

. Inspired by the high evaluation Baron Tsoysa, who called Vodnik 'first Slovenian poet', and his advice to write 'in the national spirit and for the people', the young priest all his strength gives public education
. When the patron of the Slovenian edition organizes instructive entertainment calendars for the peasants in the Slovenian language (they went to Ljubljana in 1795-1806, respectively), . Vodnik becomes not merely the editor, . but he enthusiastically wrote epigrams, . riddles, . puts them in his new poem, . glorifying the peasant labor, . resuscitating episodes of folk stories,
. And besides, he is preparing a short article on the geography, mineralogy. In one, he tells about the results of the expedition, . undertaken by them, along with Earl F. Hohenvartom and theologian J. Pinhakom in 1795 as a district Bohinskogo (the largest in Slovenia) of the lake and the foothills Triglava (the main summit of Julian Alps - a symbol of Slovenia) for the study of mineral deposits and to collect their samples.,

. The success of the popular calendar, received huge popularity raised the hopes of their creators, and in 1797 with the support Tsoysa and publisher J. Egger starts out the first newspaper in the Slovenian language 'Ljubljana news'
. It published a note about the inner life of extreme and other lands of the Austrian monarchy, the economic news, foreign news, material on the history and geography, as well as poetry, humorous stories, anecdotes. And here again Vodnik not only the editor, but also by most of the articles. In 1799, the newspaper reported on the transition of Russian troops under the leadership of AV. Suvorov Crossing the Slovenian lands in Italy. 'Russian and we hugged each other as brothers ...' - Wrote Vodnik, . Emphasizing ease, . which Slovenes understand the Russian soldiers, he explained that the common roots of two Slavic nations, and added: 'Now we see firsthand, . some powerful and great brothers have in the world ',


. In those years vividly revealed the ability Vodnik not only a journalist, . and researcher (he works hard to create a German-Slovenian dictionary, . grammar of their native language), . interpreter (published translations from German 'Songs for the militias' and other books),
. At the same time and his talent blossoms poet who has experienced the strong influence of folk poetry, which Vodnik long studied. Increasingly, he sings the praises of their homeland, its wealth and beauty of (the ode 'Vrsac', 'Spring', 'Bohinskaya Bystrica'), not less important to his theme of the poet and poetry. In 1806, . combining the previously published and his new poems and fables, . he published the famous 'verse experiments' - the author's first collection of poetry in Slovenian, . Vodnik its fame and became a model for the next generation of Slovene poets.,

. In 1809, as a result of the Austro-French war, the whole of Krajina in the hands of the French and became part of Napoleon's Illyrian Provinces declared, . which included the land of the Austrian crown, . human Slovenes and other Slavic peoples (Croatia, . Dalmatia Dubrovnik, . Istria),
. Wanting to enlist the support of the Slavs, mostly disgruntled Germanization policies pursued by the Habsburgs, the French emperor exercised in the conquered territories of a number of bourgeois and democratic reforms. One of them was a broad school reform, which provided not only an increase in the number of schools, but also an introduction to them (especially - in the primary), the Slovenian language instead of German. Valentin Vodnik one of the first to appreciate the significance of these initiatives for the future of his people, for the revival of national culture.

There was an acute shortage of teachers, school materials, and Vodnik head goes into the preparation of school textbooks. In 1809 he wrote a short essay on the history of the Duchy of Carniola, and later published, in particular, 'ABC for primary schools' and the first Slovene grammar - both in their native language. In work on the last Vodnik relied on the works Melety Smotritsky and M.V. University. In the preface to the first edition (1811) was placed ode 'Illyria revived, filled with faith, so in the future of their homeland

. Extremely busy in the public arena (he is now director of the Ljubljana gymnasium and a craft-art school, . Inspector of all public schools Illyria), . Vodnik continues to work and compilation of the dictionary (to collect 140 thousand Slovenian words and expressions, . He had not had time to complete conceived), . involved in numismatics, . wrote articles on archaeological finds (in particular, . on the tombstone inscriptions of the Roman period), . studying the texts of famous Brizhinskih sheets - the ancient monument of Slovenian Literature, . participates in the drafting of a new translation of the Bible, . as well as in the preparation of spelling reform.,

. However, in 1815 after the restoration of Austrian rule Vodnik on a tip-off was accused of frankofilstve and participation in the Masonic society, freed from all his posts and sent to retirement
. There he wrote an ode in honor of the Habsburgs 'Illyria exaltation', or the intercession of friends could not save him from persecution. But he is not leaving Ljubljana, and continues to work. One of the last works was a poem, 'My Monument', imbued with the pride of the poet for his writings and confidence in the necessity and importance of his work.

Vodnik died in January 1819 in Ljubljana, intestate, and almost all his property was sold by auction. Only part of the archive was able to buy friends and students of the poet.

In 1889, in Ljubljana was a monument to this outstanding figure of the Slovene Enlightenment coincided with the beginning of national revival.


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WODNIK Valentin, photo, biography
WODNIK Valentin, photo, biography WODNIK Valentin  Outstanding Slovene Enlightenment, photo, biography
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