Writers & Company

Ales Debeljak Interview

Our Balkans series continues with Ales Debeljak. He is one of the regions's most important public intellectuals, maintaining cultural ties established during Yugoslav times.

More in ​​o​ur special series, "Re-imagining the Balkans: How the countries of the former Yugoslavia face their past and their future,"  this week with Slovenian poet and cultural critic, Ales Debeljak.

" I cherish and relish and celebrate the multi-layered existence that is myself.  That self would not have been what it is without the Yugoslav experience." - Ales Debeljak

Slovenian composer Milko Lazar's "Variation 5" 

​​​​​​The music to close​ the​ Ales Debeljak Interview​:
Cut #​6 ​​​ : "Variation 5​​"​
Composer:  ​​Milko Lazar
Performers:  ​Milko Lazar and Bojan Gorisek

Background to Ales's references:

Ljubljana – historical capital of Carnolia, the Slovene-inhabited part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; located along the Ljubljanica River; cultural, educational, economic, political and administrative center of independent Slovenia since 1991

Robba Fountain Ljubljana
 Robba Fountain – also known as Fountain of the Three Carnolian Rivers, stands in front of Ljubljana Town Hall in Town Square of the Slovenian capital.  Originally made in 1751 by Italian sculptor Francesco Robba (1698 – 1757)

10-Day War - brief military conflict between Slovenia and Yugoslavia that took place in 1991 following Slovenia's declaration of independence

Gornja Radgona – Slovenian-Austrian border town, site of battle during the 10-Day War 

Central European "national poets" in the Romantic tradition:

Poland – Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855), poet, columnist, political activist, visionary

Hungary – Sandor Petofi (1823 – 1849, of Slovak ethnicity), poet and liberal revolutionary (a key figure of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution)

Romania – Mihai Eminescu (1850 –1889), poet, novelist, journalist

France Preseren painting by Franz Goldenstein 1850
 Slovenia – France Preseren (1800 – 1849), poet, considered the greatest Slovene classical author

Sarajevo Notebooks -  journal started in 2001 by intellectuals and activists from all countries of the former Yugoslavia, re-establishing communication between the different communities and creating regional public forums to facilitate reconciliation among the ex-Yugoslav states

Map of the former Yugoslavia