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Srečko Kosovel (poet) - Slovenia - Poetry International
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Srečko Kosovel
(Slovenia, 1904)   
 
 
 

Srečko Kosovel is the Slovenian Rimbaud, the strongest and the strangest poetical energy of the Slovenian people, a visionary and a contemporary to every reader in every time. Born in 1904, he died in 1926 at the age of 22, but his work is strong, deep and finished as if he had written and lived for a long, long time. Each nation has a "miracle" in its literary history: Kosovel is definitely the most interesting Slovenian poetical icon.

He is one of the most praised representatives of the Slovenian "historical avant-garde". During his life, especially in last four years of his life, he created more than one thousand poems which were left in manuscript and a couple of hundred prose works consisting of lyrical prose and sketches, literary criticism and essays on cultural problems, notes, diaries and letters, and published only some poems in some literary review, but not a single book.
After his death, Kosovel was discovered and rediscovered for several times: in 1927 (Poems - 60 poems), in 1931 (Selected Poems), in 1946 (Collected Works - the first book), in 1964 (Integrals - the edition was the most exiting literary events of that time: a group of Slovenian poets found in him their contemporary, the founder of their poetics in retrospect, a missing part of Slovenian literary history) and it has also continued today. The Kosovel's poetics traditionally is divided in three currents: impressionism, expressionism and constructivism, but this classification is too general for a complex poet such Kosovel. Each of these poetical, art lines is crossing with the others and completing with dadaist, surrealist and futurist elements.

Kosovel is an impressionist when writes about the Slovenian Karst and the fate of Slovenians threatened by foreign rule and expressionist when proclaims the destruction, antagonisms and cataclysm of Europe. With the constructivism his poetry changes from a silent lyric longing for the past into a loud, presumptuous, offensive poetry full of linguistic innovations (language free of syntax and logical ordering, freedom of imagery, use of typography, styles and colors, mathematical symbols, equations, paper collages and all other sorts of experimental writing). But the most important for Kosovel's poetry and literature in general which he creates, is that it is authentic and unique because of its totality. He is a poet who created avant-garde not only with means but much more with his soul, personality and originality and because of that he is off-avant-garde in the same time is the best representative of Slovenian, and not only, avant-garde. The world he wrote about, existed inside his being, not only around him. "A kaleidoscope of the macrocosm / is the microcosm", he wrote, and this microcosm is him, as a human being, as a very personal, particular, deep voice of a poet who accepted the solitude as a dire, and, paradoxally, soteriological straits. With a perceptive, radiological interior sense he understood the world, the civilization as a negative human creation and the consequence of that are his verses "Since we live in chaos / we long for solitude", "Civilization hasn't got heart, the heart hasn't got civilization". Witty, ironical, deep and tragic, Srečko Kosovel is an eternal poet of the total existence, of the Integrals of the individual and because of that, collective mirror of the life.

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