While the circumstances of his death remain unclear, Večer reports he died in a car accident on the motorway in Gorenjsko on Thursday afternoon.
Having obtained degrees in philosophy and comparative literature from the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, Debeljak got a PhD from Syracuse University, New York.
His official biography says he published 14 volumes of essays and eight volumes of literature. He was also a prolific translator.
Debeljak is also one of the most widely translated Slovenian authors, his works having been translated into at least twenty languages.
Debeljak received numerous accolades over the years, including two Prešeren Fund awards for outstanding achievements and a readers' choice award for essay of the century awarded by World Literature Today.
His work was heavily influenced by the break-up of Yugoslavia, and was often tinged with nostalgic yet realistic recollections of the era that defined his formative years.
In terms of literary theory, his poetry has been described as a dialogue with the modernist tradition and existential thinking with echoes of the angst informed by the war-torn break-up of Yugoslavia.
In essay Debeljak is considered one of the pioneers of Slovenian post-modernism.