GOV.SI

Speech Delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the 1996 Boršnik Meeting

This month's archivalia is a speech delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the Boršnik Meeting in Maribor in October 1996. The document is kept among Šeligo's private archival records that were transferred to the Archives of RS in 2005. If we pay close attention to the text we can see that not much has changed in Slovenian culture within the last almost 25 years. The same speech could easily be delivered today; sadly, it would still be equally relevant.

Speech Delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the 1996 Boršnik Meeting, p. 1. SI AS 2040, Šeligo Rudi, box 1, description unit 25

Speech Delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the 1996 Boršnik Meeting, p. 1. SI AS 2040, Šeligo Rudi, box 1, description unit 25 – Author Arhiv Republike Slovenije

Speech Delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the 1996 Boršnik Meeting

In 2015, private archival records of Rudi Šeligo were transferred to the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. His legacy was left in our keeping by his wife Lidija Šeligo and his sons Aleš and Primož Šeligo. Our institution thus acquired invaluable documents that bear witness to Slovenian culture and its cultural policy, as well as provide a detailed insight into the events and processes that took place during the time of gaining Slovenia’s independence and our engagement in democratization efforts. It is especially important that Šeligo’s relatives decided to entrust us with the safekeeping of his entire literary legacy, including many of his manuscripts.

Šeligo’s archival fond under the reference code SI AS 2040 includes the following groups of documents: his dramatic and prose works 1958-2005; his party and political engagements 1987-2001; his work in the Slovenian Writers’ Association 1987-2001; the founding and work in the Slovenian Democratic Union 1989-1990; his work as the chairman of RTV Slovenia Council 1990-1994; his work in the Slovenian parliament 1990-1992. The fond contains documents created between 1958 and 2005 and consists of 31 archival boxes.

Since much is already known about Rudi Šeligo by the Slovenian public, we are here going to provide only some of his basic biographic data. Writer, playwright, essayist and politician Rudi Šeligo was born on May 14, 1935 in Sušak near Rijeka, and died on January 22, 2004 in Ljubljana. In 1960, he graduated in philosophy and psychology from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, and in 1987 got his Master’s degree in aesthetics. In 1962, he landed a job at the Institute for Research of Work Organization and Human Resource Education in Kranj and was up until 1993 a lecturer at the Institution of Higher Education for Work Organization, later renamed the Faculty of Organizational Sciences.

He co-edited the magazines Revija 57 (1957-1958) and Perspektive (1962), and was the editor-in-chief of the magazine Problemi (1970-1971) and of the book series Znamenja (1975-1978). As the president of the Slovenian Writers’ Association (1987-1991) he played an important part in the process of gaining Slovenia’s independence and its democratization. He was also one of the founding members of the Slovenian Democratic Union and was in 1990 elected the party’s member in the parliament. Between 1990 and 1992 he was the head of the parliamentary committee for culture and from June to November 2000 he was also the Minister of Culture. Between 1990 and 1994 he was the chairman of RTV Slovenia Council. In 1989, he received Prešeren Award for his dramatic and prosaic works, and in 2003 he was the recipient of Kersnik literary award for his novel Izgubljeni sveženj (Lost Package). In 2001, he was elected associative member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Most commonly categorized as modernism by literary theorists, Šeligo’s extensive literary opus often holds a mirror up to Slovenian society. Included among his most important works are the plays Čarovnica iz Zgornje Davče, Lepa Vida, Svatba, Ana, and Volčji čas ljubezni, as well his prose, which in addition to Triptih Agate Schwarzkobler and the novel Izgubljeni sveženj, also includes the novels Rahel stik and Demoni slavja.  

This month’s archivalia is a speech delivered by Rudi Šeligo at the 1996 Boršnik Meeting in Maribor. The festival was held from October 18 to 28, and the recipient of the prestigious Boršnik Ring Award that year was Ivo Ban. At the time Rudi Šeligo was the chair of Boršnik Meeting Council.

If we pay close attention to the text we can see that not much has changed in Slovenian culture within the last almost 25 years. The same speech could easily be delivered today; sadly, it would still be equally relevant.

Boštjan Smole