Publish Date: 26.08.2013

Category: News from the University

Congratulations to our Honorary Doctor acad. Boris Pahor on his prominent jubilee!

The University of Ljubljana awarded acad. Boris Pahor with the Honorary Doctorate on 2 December 2008 for his constant lifetime reminders as a witness of dehumanized violence and for his consistent support of Slovenian national identity. 

The University of Ljubljana awarded acad. Boris Pahor with the Honorary Doctorate on 2 December 2008 for his constant lifelong reminders as a witness of dehumanized violence and for his consistent support of Slovenian national identity.

Boris Pahor was born into a Slovenian family in Trieste on August 26, 1913. He graduated from secondary school in 1935 in Koper from a Roman Catholic Seminary, abandoned study of Theology in Gorizia, was recruited into the Italian army, and was sent to Libya the next years as a private. He then worked at the Lago di Garda as a translator for the conquered officers of the Yugoslav armed forces. At the same time he started to study Italian literature at the University of Padova. After the Italian armistice in September 1943, he returned to Trieste and joined the Liberation Front. In January 1944 he was arrested by the Slovene Home Guard that handed him over to the Gestapo forces. From February 1944 until April 1945 he was imprisoned in six German concentration camps.

In 1947, he graduated in Padova in the Edvard Kocbek lyrics. After his graduation, he lived as an independent artist. From 1953 until 1975, he taught Italian literature to the students of the central Slovenian school in Trieste. From 1966 until 1990 he edited the review called Zaliv (Bay), published also with controversial social and political Slovenian dissidents' publications and considerations.

Pahor published more than 30 books: novels, short stories, publications, essays, diaries and memorial prose. His main topics are Slovenian national identity, especially in the exposed position in Trieste, and his own devastating experience of the Second World War concentration camps. Among his first works are Mesto v zalivu (Bay City) – 1955, Kres v pristanišču (Bonfire in the Harbour) – 1959, Trg Oberdan (Oberdan Square) – 2006. The concentration period is marked by Onkraj pekla so ljudje (People Beyond Hell) – 1958 and Nekropola (Necropolis) – 1967, also translated to French, German, Italian, Serbian, English, Catalan, Spanish, Russian, and in other languages. The third group of his works are diaries and essays. Pahor is a consistent advocate of nationality as the primary social identity and a critic of the national attitude towards diaspora and towards the Slovenian national identity.

He is a Laureate of numerous decorations. He was awarded Prešeren Award for his literary work in 1992, he received the Republic of Slovenia honorary medal of liberty in 2000. In 2007, he became the Knight of the French order of the Legion of Honour, in 2009 he became the full member of the SASA, the same year he received the Austrian Honorary Order of Cross for Science and Art. In 2011, he was awarded the order of Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres .