On 28 June 2023, we visited the Oton Župančič Memorial House in Vinica as part of the DLAN BERE project, which is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and is aimed at improving the language and reading literacy of people with deafblindness.
We visited the exhibition “Župančič – Master of Words”, which presents one of the most important Slovenian poets and an outstanding translator and essayist, a sworn Belokran resident. During the guided tour, we learned all about his ancestors, the first years of his life, his schooling, his first love, his family and the works that have enriched the Slovenian literary heritage. Also on display were his personal belongings, his spectacles, the pencil with which he last wrote and the paintings he drew. He also drew a self-portrait.
The collection also includes portraits of Oton Župančič, famous Slovenian painters such as Božidar Jakac and Hinko Smrekar. We also saw archive recordings of his paintings and snippets from the archives of Television Slovenia, and heard his voice on a recording of him reciting Prešeren’s poem Zdravljica.
We all remembered the songs “Ciciban-Cicifuj”, Lenka sweeps and Zima, zima bela… We also remembered the magazine Ciciban, especially the word ciciban, which is defined in the online FRAN dictionary, according to the Slovenian spelling, as a preschool child.
Župančič wrote lyrics as well as poems and riddles for children. His poetry collection “The Cup of Intoxication” (1899) marked the beginning of Slovenian modernism, and his book “Wintergreen under the Snow” (1945) describes the historical moments of the Second World War.
In drama, his most important works are “Night of the Faithful Souls” (1904) and the tragedy “Veronika Deseniška” (1924). For the latter, he was awarded honorary burghership in the town of Kamnik.
Župančič’s work as a translator is very extensive, as he translated important classical literary texts into Slovene. He has translated Dante, Shakespeare, Calderon, Moliere, Dickens, Tolstoy, Shaw, Goethe, Balzac and others. His translations have been the inspiration and inspiration for all subsequent Slovenian translators.
Many kindergartens, schools and streets are named in his memory, and several monuments have been erected throughout Slovenia.
During our visit, we also visited the temporary exhibitions Vinica – Centuries along the Kolpa River and Meritorious Belokranjci.
Currently, the Museum of Contemporary and Modern History of Slovenia is hosting an exhibition on the 145th anniversary of the birth of Oton Župančič, which shows the social engagement of the poet during his lifetime.
We have prepared a short quiz on the knowledge of our poet Oton Župančič, take it yourself. Click on the link below.