Dr. VASIČ Marjeta – from the Novo mesto activist to a scientist

Marjeta Vasič, a literary historian, was born on 12 August 1922 in Novo mesto to Ivan, the leading member of the Sokol association in Novo mesto, and Regina, born Preatoni. She attended primary (1929–33) and secondary school (1933–41) in Novo mesto. In 1939, she started to cooperate in the advanced youth movement. After occupation, she was also a member of the district committee Novo mesto and the secretary of the Youth Association of Slovenia town board. In autumn 1943, she joined the Partisans and served as a youth activist in the Dolenjska region. Until June 1944, she was the secretary of the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia District Committee, and then a secretary of the League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia Authority Committee as well as a member of the Youth Association of Slovenia at the Koroška region until the end of war. In 1944, she married Dušan Pirjevec, who later became an important literary historian.

From the end of the war until 1952, she worked in journalism: she was the director of the TANJUG branch for Slovenia, the head of a department at the People's Republic of Slovenia Prime Minister Information Office and the editor of broadcasts for foreign countries at Radio Ljubljana. In-between, she attended studies at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, namely French and Slovene with literature. She graduated from the faculty in February 1956. Between 1956 and 1958, she taught at the Šentvid secondary school and at the Šentvid primary school from 1958 to 1960. In 1960, she was employed at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, at first as a teaching assistant. In 1970, she obtained a PhD with the dissertation Estetska misel Alberta Camusa (in Engl. Aesthetic thoughts by Albert Camus) and was promoted to an assistant professor in 1971. From 1977 to 1978, she worked as an associate professor for French literature. After retiring, she carried out seminars for the last two semesters until 1980 as a part-time job.

Marjeta Vasič has studied mostly the latest French literature and had lectures on individual periods and leading authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. Although she and Dušan Pirjevec separated in 1967, she published works under his name until 1977.

Marjeta Vasič was the author of important literary and historian studies on French literature, among others on Albert Camus, and prefaces to published works by Marcel Proust, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Baudelair, Jean-Paul Sartre and others. She has published the scientific study Eksistencializem in literatura (Existentialism and Literature), which thoroughly and systematically discusses the term and its philosophic bases, depicts it with examples from the world’s and especially French literature. A special chapter is dedicated to existentialism in the Slovene literature.

She has translated from French, prepared an anthology of the French modern poetry for the Radio Ljubljana and wrote introductions (12 broadcasts in 1971), a selection of Baudelaire’s poems and connecting texts (1976).

Marjeta Vasič was the president of the editorial committee for the magazine Jezik in slovstvo until 1976 and the president of the Association for Cultural Cooperation between Yugoslavia and France. She has received many awards for her work, including the Commemorative Medal in 1941, the Order of Merit for People, II and III grade, as well as the Order of Brotherhood and Unity.

Marjeta Vasič, a translator and literary historian, died on 20 March 2005. 

Bibliography:

Marjeta Vasič. Slovenski biografski leksikon. Accessed on 28 July 2017 at http://www.slovenska-biografija.si/oseba/sbi763104/.