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Dr. Tone Pretnar Memorial Room

Tržič residents are justifiably proud of the work of the late Dr. Tone Pretnar, who through his sophisticated translations introduced many foreign authors to Slovenian readers, and through his tireless work disseminated Slovenian language and literature throughout the world. His memorial room, which can be visited at the Tržič Library, houses over 2335 units of materials from his personal library.

Dr. Tone Pretnar spent his childhood and youth in Tržič. He was Tržič's first travelling librarian. In 1964 he enrolled at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, in the Department of Slovene and Russian Language. While still a student he would go to the mountain hamlets of the Tržič region with a suitcase full of books and instill a love of reading and respect for books among the people. He graduated in 1971. Even before he graduated he took a job at the cotton spinning and weaving mill in Tržič as a librarian in the specialized library. He then performed his military service in Našice. There he met practially illiterate soldiers whom he then taught how to read and write, and wrote letters for them to send to their families.

In 1972 he went to Poland for the first time, where he obtained a UNESCO scholarship to study in Warsaw. He threw himself into research and translation with a passion. In 1988 he received his doctorate in Warsaw with a dissertation on Mickiewicz and Prešeren. In October 1992 he began work as a profssor of Slovene language, literature and culture at the Institute of Slavonic Philology of the University of Silesia in Poland.  His sudden death on 16 November 1992 in Sosnowiec cut short his path in life.  He is buried in Tržič.

The Slovenian national bibliographic database shows 67 entries of monographs for which Dr. Tone Pretnar is sole author, co-author, translator, editor, foreword author or author of a chapter. In the same database there are another 147 records of articles and published poems that were published in specialized and general interest periodicals. He sometimes signed his work using the pseudonym PETER TORNER.

Dr. Tone Pretnar was a truly good and great person.

He was beloved by ordinary people as well as by scholars. He always spoke the Tržič dialect with people from Tržič. In Poland he liked to buy gifts for his friends and acquaintances. He never came empty-handed to the Tržič Library but was always full of literary gems and new plans for literary evenings.

His relationship with and love for his home town of Tržič is also reflected in the monograph entitled At the Confluence  of the Bistrica and Mošenik, for which he composed 100 octaves to accompany 100 photographs depicting the town of Tržič.

His friends, colleagues, and students were also well aware of how important his work was and what a great person he was. One such was Ivo Stropnik from Velenje, who in 2004 began awarding the international Pretnar award. It is given to ambassadors of Slovenian literature and language around the world.


Dr. Tone Pretnar Library, Balos 4, 4290 Tržič
T: 04 592 38 83

Opening hours

Half an hour before events held in the library or by arrangement.

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