Ethics and Dialogue in Autobiography: The Cases of Vitomil Zupan and Lojze Kovačič

Andreas Leben


Vitomil Zupan (1914–1987), a former partisan and political prisoner, and Lojze Kovačič (1928–2004) who was exiled as a German speaking child with his family from Switzerland to Yugoslavia, rank among the most outstanding autobiographers in modern Slovene literature. After a brief theoretical discussion on ethics and a dialogue on autobiographical discourse, the paper discusses the intersections and dialogical interplay between the real author, the writer, the narrator, the characters and the reader in their writings since the 1970s, taking into account the background of their personal experiences and the political, ideological and social conditions represented in their texts. As they pursued different concepts of self-representation, special emphasis is placed on ethical issues that derive from the autobiographical genre, respectively, from the specifics of the ethics of the told and the ethics of the telling as well as on the significance of ethical questions within the aesthetics of their writing.


This article was submitted to the European Journal of Life Writing on April 16th, 2016, and published on July 17th, 2017.


Slovene autobiography, modernism, ethics, dialog

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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.