The Slovenia Times

Drago Jančar wins Latisana award


Drago Jančar, the internationally-acclaimed Slovenian writer, has won the 30th Latisana per il Nord Est international literary prize for his 2017 novel And Love Itself (In ljubezen tudi).

The award is presented in Latisana, Italy, to writers who were born or live in in the Italian regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto, or Austria, Croatia or Slovenia, or whose works are set in these countries or regions or deal with themes relating to them.

Jančar's novel takes place in the occupied Maribor during the Second World War, among the resistance movement in the Pohorje forests, a concentration camp in northern Europe and in the post-war period.

The three characters at the heart of the novel, Valentin, a partisan resistance fighter, his girlfriend Sonja, and the SS officer Ludwig, once called Ludek, each try in their own way to defend their love from the senselessness of evil and the downfall of human dignity.

Translated into Italian by Darja Betocchi, the novel was published by Nave di Teseo last year titled E l'amore anche ha bisogno di riposo.

Jančar accepted his latest prize on 15 April at Odeon Theatre in Latisana.

The jury praised both his "select prose" and the "masterful translation" by Betocchi, which enables Italian readers to experience the story of love, hatred, and the consequences of war that unfold in the pages of Jančar's novel and his birthplace, according to Beletrina, the Slovenian publisher of the book.

Jančar, 75, is a critically-acclaimed novelist, playwright and essayist. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages.

He has received many awards in Slovenia and abroad, including the Prešeren Prize, the Kresnik Prizes for the novel of the year for four of his books and the Kresnik Prize for the novel of the decade for I Saw Her That Night.

He has also won the European Short Story Award of Augsburg (1994), the Herder Prize for Literature (2003) and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2020), among others.


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