Vanessa Redgrave
Stane Sever


1843   New times, the Bleiweis era, the authorities allow the publication of the Poems  
lovene society, or Carniolan as it was then known, was gradually starting to change, but Prešeren failed to notice this. Capable and, above all, hard-headed national leaders came to the fore. This is particularly true of Dr Janez Bleiweis. In 1843, the young veterinarian started up the newspaper Kmetijske in rokodelske novice (The Farming and Crafts News), which firmly established him as the leader of the national movement; everything else, including the publishing of literature, took second place. Bleiweis simply overlooked all the poetry Prešeren had written, he did not even invite him to work alongside him at the novice, which was, understandably, another blow to the unfortunate poet. Prešeren wrote to Vraz: "No-one in the Slovene world knows about me!" As far as Bleiweis the editor was concerned, the most important poet was Jovan Vesel Koseski, whose work he gladly published and whose praises he kept singing. Some time later Bleiweis did, however, publish Krst pri Savici and a few other of Prešeren's poems, but the two men were never able to establish a genuine and useful relationship. Meanwhile, Prešeren's fourth and fifth applications for his own legal practice were rejected, understandably so. He had a very bad reputation; his police record spoke of a very chaotic life, of drinking, lasciviousness and bad habits, none of which were a good recommendation for the respectable profession of lawyer. But his poetic talent was not extinguished, quite the opposite. Zdravljica (A Toast) and the wonderful elegy V spomin Andreja Smoleta (In Memory of Andrej Smole), which he wrote four years after his friend's death, were created around this time (1844). He had quite a few problems with Zdravljica; the court censor Fran Miklošič rejected the third and fourth stanzas and Prešeren was not willing to have it published without them. He waited another few years and in 1848, after the Spring of Nations, he published it in Bleiweis's Novice. The editor used our present national anthem as a filler on the front page, below a text which is today, like its author, forgotten. The last few years of Prešeren's life were again poetically more fruitful. He wrote Judovsko dekle (The Jewish Maiden), Orglar (The Minstrel), Od železne ceste (About the Railway), V spomin Matiji Čopu (In Memory of Matija Čop) and, above all, Neiztrohnjeno srce (The Preserved Heart), the poet's swan song. Prešeren put a lot of energy into publishing the Poems. He kept selecting and revising poems for the collection and in 1846 he submitted the manuscript for censorship. Fran Miklošič, the censor, was benevolent and had no problems with Prešeren's selection, with the exception of Zdravljica and one epigram. The printer Blaznik started working on the publication and then things brightened up for Prešeren even more. On the same day on which the go-ahead for his Poems to be printed was given in Vienna - 22nd June 1846 - his application for a legal practice was finally accepted. He had sent his sixth application for the posts available in Postojna and Kranj, and the judicial authorities sent him to Kranj.

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