February 8 is Prešeren Day in Slovenia celebrating the death in 1849 of the country’s greatest literary figure France Prešeren. It was established in 1945 to raise the cultural consciousness and self confidence of the Slovene nation.” [Prešeren] tied together the motifs of his own unhappy love with that of an unhappy, subjugated homeland.”
He who from fate receives but blow on blow,
Who, like myself in her disfavour stands,
Although he had a hundred mighty hands,
Would vainly strive for riches here below.
His paths are strewn with thorns where’er he go;
And where he looks for home there soon expands
A sea of woes: against its stormy strands
Waves roll and splash in unremitting flow.
Pursued and tossed about by Care, by Need,
He finds no peace from worries on his road,
Though to the farthest place his search may lead.
And only in the quiet, cold abode,
Which after weary life’s span is decreed,
Will death relieve him of his toilsome load.
On February 7, the eve of the holiday, the prestigious Prešeren Fund Awards are conferred. The 2018 winner is director, cinimatographer, editor, and script writer Karpo Godina for his lifetime achievement. You can see his works here.