Josip Ogrinec is a Slovenian dramatist, translator, storyteller, chess player, and teacher, who was born to a farm family on April 5, 1844, in Podgorje in Kamnik, he died on May 13, 1879, in Vinkovci, Croatia. Father, Jožef (1815-1875), was an educated and entrepreneurial landowner at Medved (en. Bear), who succeeded to rise from humble conditions to a high level of well-being. He also was a mayor for many years. Mother, Neža (1821-1888), was from Zlato polje. She was a decisive and hard woman. After Josip finished elementary school at Kamnik Franciscan, he goes to a gymnasium in Ljubljana. Upon completion of his studies, on his mother’s wish, he enrolls to the theology, which he abandons after the first year. In the year 1866, he goes to Zagreb to study at the law academy, but in the same year he moves to Vienna to study natural science, he stays there until the year 1870. For some time he goes to Graz, where he makes his living as a private teacher. Then, for a while, he returns to Ljubljana. Between years 1872 and 1873 he was employed as a graduate professor at the gymnasium in Novo mesto, in the year 1878 he became a professor at the gymnasium in Vinkovci. The same year, in Budapest, he passed the professorial exam in natural science as a major subject and mathematics and physics as a later subject. At the age of 35, he dies from a heart attack. Josip was the uncle of the brothers Alojzij, Josip and Ivo Benkovič. In Kamnik is a street named after him.
Josip engaged also in chess and chess theory. In the year 1868, he published four chess problems in Slovenski glasnik (en. Slovenian herald). At the end of the year, the herald was abolished, at that time Josip also stopped publishing chess problems. Nevertheless, he is considered the first who undertake a chess theory in Slovenia.
He started writing at the Ljubljana seminary, he engaged in poetry, prose, and drama. Descriptions and experiences from nature were published in Slovenski glasnik (en. Slovenian herald) (1868), Glasnik (en. Herald) (1869), Besednik (en. Vocabulary) (1869) and Zvon (en. Bell) (1870). Later, he dedicates himself to the faces of national life, the most characteristic are Cunjar (en. Rager) and Vaškega šolnika nedelja (en. Village teacher’s Sunday) (1872). For Slovenski narod (en. Slovenian nation) (1876) he wrote long novels and tales from peasant life titled Čast in sramota (en. Honor and shame). With the historical topic, he wrote Vojnimir ali poganstvo in kerst (en. Vojnimir or paganism and baptism) (1871), which tells of Slovenian history in the 8th century. He translated some of the less famous stage works, he himself wrote a reading plays V Ljubljano jo dajmo! (en. Let’s give it to Ljubljana!) (1869) and Kje je meja? (en. Where is the limit?) (1879). Play V Ljubljano jo dajmo! was published by Slovenska Talija (en. Slovenian Talia) in the year 1869. In his “faces”, he showed Slovene literature the way to realism by observing, imitating and describing reality. He rarely signed his works, as he preferred to use several pseudonyms.
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