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Martin Kacur: The Biography of an Idealist

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The novel Martin Kačur, which dates from 1907, tells the engrossing story of a young schoolteacher who moves from one provincial Slovene town to the next, trying to enlighten his countrymen and countrywomen but instead receiving only the mistrust and scorn of the traditional-minded and petty population. The novel is ruthless in its analysis and self-analysis of the failure The novel Martin Kačur, which dates from 1907, tells the engrossing story of a young schoolteacher who moves from one provincial Slovene town to the next, trying to enlighten his countrymen and countrywomen but instead receiving only the mistrust and scorn of the traditional-minded and petty population. The novel is ruthless in its analysis and self-analysis of the failure of this abstract idealist. Brilliant descriptions of Slovenia's natural beauty alternate with the haze of alcoholic despair, rural violence, marital alienation, and the death of a young and beloved child. The Slovene prose writer, poet, and dramatist Cankar's characterizations of duplicitous political and religious leaders (the village priest, the mayor, other teachers, doctors, etc.) and the treacherous social scene are remarkable in their engaging clarity. No doubt the raw emotional impact of Martin Kačur derives partly from Cankar's portrayal of the way society isolates people, denying them sympathy and solidarity. Cankar's style here owes a debt both to naturalism and to symbolism and contains, in its sometimes frantic pace and associative interior monologues, hints of early expressionism.


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The novel Martin Kačur, which dates from 1907, tells the engrossing story of a young schoolteacher who moves from one provincial Slovene town to the next, trying to enlighten his countrymen and countrywomen but instead receiving only the mistrust and scorn of the traditional-minded and petty population. The novel is ruthless in its analysis and self-analysis of the failure The novel Martin Kačur, which dates from 1907, tells the engrossing story of a young schoolteacher who moves from one provincial Slovene town to the next, trying to enlighten his countrymen and countrywomen but instead receiving only the mistrust and scorn of the traditional-minded and petty population. The novel is ruthless in its analysis and self-analysis of the failure of this abstract idealist. Brilliant descriptions of Slovenia's natural beauty alternate with the haze of alcoholic despair, rural violence, marital alienation, and the death of a young and beloved child. The Slovene prose writer, poet, and dramatist Cankar's characterizations of duplicitous political and religious leaders (the village priest, the mayor, other teachers, doctors, etc.) and the treacherous social scene are remarkable in their engaging clarity. No doubt the raw emotional impact of Martin Kačur derives partly from Cankar's portrayal of the way society isolates people, denying them sympathy and solidarity. Cankar's style here owes a debt both to naturalism and to symbolism and contains, in its sometimes frantic pace and associative interior monologues, hints of early expressionism.

30 review for Martin Kacur: The Biography of an Idealist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Micah

    Can't even find the Bailiff Yerney on this system, but it's no less timely and inspiring as it was in the 1920s. What has happened to the memory of world literature when authors like Cankar are lost in obscurity? Sad. Can't even find the Bailiff Yerney on this system, but it's no less timely and inspiring as it was in the 1920s. What has happened to the memory of world literature when authors like Cankar are lost in obscurity? Sad.

  2. 4 out of 5

    RD Chiriboga Moncayo

    A powerful portrayal of a self-centered, masochistic, self-righteous "Idealist" whose lack of common sense and compassion dooms him to an ineffective and unhappy life. A powerful portrayal of a self-centered, masochistic, self-righteous "Idealist" whose lack of common sense and compassion dooms him to an ineffective and unhappy life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebeka

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tarhun

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kalina Mitev

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mojca

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ajda

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brina

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  11. 5 out of 5

    Boris

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maiken

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Coombes

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mitja

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eman Herzallah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bobbie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebeka

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paolo Grill

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bojana Milovac

  22. 4 out of 5

    Blackbirdy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Urska

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hana

  26. 5 out of 5

    Boris Gregoric

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anja

  28. 5 out of 5

    Veronika

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jan Ložina

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lea Lampič

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