France Bevk

France Bevk

France Bevk was a Slovenian writer, poet, dramatist, translator, editor, and politician, who was born in croft family on September 17th, 1890 in Zakojca pri Cerknem. He died on September 17th, 1970 in Ljubljana, he is buried in Solkan. He was the oldest child of eight of village shoemaker Ivan and mother Katarina. He went to folk school in Bukovo, was for a short time a merchant apprentice, then he continued his schooling at the teaching in Koper and Gorica. After graduation in the year 1913, he was teaching for some time in village Orehek pri Cerknem, in the year 1916 he was criminally transferred to Novaki for writing anti-war sketches. In the year 1917, he was enlisted into armed forces and sent to the eastern front in Galicia and Bukovina. After the war, in the year 1919, he quit the teaching profession and becomes editor of the Ljubljana Večerni list (en. The evening sheet), later also editor of cultural newspaper column Slovenec (en. Slovenian). At the end of the year 1920, he returns from Yugoslavia to Gorica region and despite the pressure of Italian authorities he decides to stay there. Even later he was advised to move to Yugoslavia, but he remained steadfast: »Here is my homeland, here I have the right to live! I am not going anywhere. I am ready for everything.«

Between the years 1920 and 1921 he was an editor of Mladika (en. Bud), at the same time he devoted himself to a theater and he leads Folk theatre stage and direct. He also edited political newspaper Goriška straža (en. Gorica watch) and humorous Čuk na pal’ci (en. Little owl on the stick). In the year 1923 he becomes principal of the National bookshop in Gorica, he organized books, collected Slavism tradition, mostly he devoted himself to writing. Because of the satirical song in Čuk na pal’ci he was jailed for four months. After the Rapal contract, the situation for Littoral Slovenes became harder, as cultural and creative work was difficult. In these times, for Bevk followed years of house arrests, prison and confinement. In a time of freedom, he traveled and actively participated at the congresses of club PEN (Slovenian center Pen, the society of writers, poets, and publicists). He also edited Naš glas (en. Our voice), Edinost (en. Oneness) and Razgledi (en. The views) in Trieste.

Until the year 1943, he spent most of his time in Italian prisons, in the same year he joins Partisans and becomes one of the leaders of the national liberation movement in Slovenian Littoral region. Until the end of the war and after the liberation he worked in authorities. Until February 1944 he was a member of the presidency of SNLC (Slovenian National Liberation Council) and the executive council of LF (Liberation front) and also the president of Landscape National Liberation council for Slovenian Littoral region. Multiple Republican and Federal representative and the member of delegations, for example, peace conference in Paris in the year 1946. He devoted a lot of time for meeting with young readers. From the year 1950, he was a president for two terms in Society of Slovenian writers, he also was a president of Folk education, vice-president of Slovenska matica (en. Slovenian queen) and from the year 1953 he was a member of SASA (Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts). After second world war he for some time lived in Trieste, later he moved to Ljubljana, where he died at the age of 80, on a day of his birth, today he is buried in Solkan.

He starts writing very early, his works cover tales, novels, plays, sketches, historical and modern novels, travelogues, translations, and poems. In his works, he describes Tolmin peasants, who were poor and were struggling hard to survive.

France was married but did not have any children with his wife, but he had two illegitimate children. He had two sons, Vasja Ocvirk, who was writer, and Marjan Bevk, director and president of society TIGR (Trieste, Istria, Gorica, and Reka).

His most important works are Peter Klepec (1956), Grivarjevi otroci (en. Grivar children) (1939), Pestrna (1939), Pastirci (en. Shepherds) (1935) and Kaplan Martin Čedermac (en. Chaplain Martin Čedermac) (1938).


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Bevk’s homestead
Bevk’s homestead, per home at Volar, is located in village Zakojca, more specifically in hamlet Dolnja vas (en. Lower village), where the writer France Bevk spent his childhood and early youth. Homestead was opened ceremonially for visitors in the year 1990, at the 100th anniversary of his birth. [_Read more_]

Zakojca is a smaller village in the Littoral region, which consists of three hamlets: Doljna vas, Srednja vas and Gornja vas. It is one of those villages, which belongs among overlooked and poorly known areas. Some places are hidden, other lies high in the mountains, some are not even marked on the map. [_Read more_]