Vanessa Redgrave
Stane Sever


  Jožef Blaznik  
  A clarification in connection with Prešeren's poems

A letter from Klagenfurt in the 18th sheet of "Slovenec" says that for quite a while no copies of Prešeren's wonderful "Poems" have been on sale. "All the copies - it goes on - have been sold - a good sign and a proof that people like reading these poems." Finally, the writer of the letter expresses a wish "that new copies be printed forthwith." - I obviously need to clarify this matter. In December 1846, I printed for the late Dr France Prešeren 1200 copies of his poems. 150 copies Prešeren kept for himself so that he could give them to his friends, and the remaining 1050 he gave to bookshops for 1 fl. each. After his death in 1849 in Kranj, on 1st of July 1853 the Imperial regional court in Kranj, on the basis of a contract, gave the hitherto unsold copies from bookshops for me to keep and sell. This July it will thus be 12 years since I took over the unsold copies and I still have 190 of them; - 18 years have passed since Prešeren's poetry first saw the light of day, and the 1050 have still not sold! Let the respected readers judge for themselves by these numbers - and numbers are always the most believable witness - how it must have grievously hurt the late Prešeren's heart to see, while he was still alive, how badly his poems were selling. It will take another three years for them to be sold, if they continue to be bought at the present rate. Let the readers judge for themselves: is that really "a good sign and a proof that people like reading these poems"? And what I have said about Prešeren's poetry also applies to Vodnik's, the price of which is only 20 new krajcars. Sadly the enthusiasm expressed by words does not always match the actual facts.

  Jožef Blaznik: A clarification in connection with Prešeren's poems
Novice 23/1865 (22.3.), sheet 12, page 97-98
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