Vanessa Redgrave
Stane Sever


1821-28   Student years in Vienna  
n Vienna, Prešeren began to take a deep interest in poetry; he studied all the major poetic works, from the Antique to the Romantic period, from Homer to Boccaccio. At the beginning of the 19th century, only religious and mystical literature was prescribed in reactionary Austria; Prešeren even lost his position as study supervisor in a Vienna college for lending banned works of poetry to one of the pupils, Count Anton Auersperg, who later became known as the Slovene poet Anastazij Gruen. Prešeren's thinking at that time is best demonstrated in a letter to his family from 1824. The mood of the letter is very serious and decisive, which is in considerable contrast to the joviality of previous letters. Prešeren had finally made up his mind to stick to his decision to become a lawyer. In the letter he firstly uses a metaphor, asking whether it would be a wise thing to cut down an orchard which is just about to give its first yield, and turn it into a vegetable garden; he then concludes firmly: "Things being as they are, you will be able to understand that I can no longer come back before I am in a position to start looking for a provincial government post in Ljubljana."

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