|Abstract:||This doctoral dissertation, titled Potrč's Short Prose in the Context of Ideological, Social and Political Changes, presents short prose of one of the most prominent representative of Slovenian social realism. Potrč, who was also a member of the Communist Party, believed in socialism and communism from his student years until his death and he remained loyal to realistic style even after the end of social realism. Short prose of Ivan Potrč was being created for more than half a century, which is from 1933 until 1993. According to social and political changes, Potrč's short prose is divided into the following periods.
The theory section of the dissertation presents the terms such as ideology, Marxism, communism, self-managing socialism, relationship between ideological and literary discourse, literature as interdiscourse and cultural memory.
The chapter Ivan Potrč v slovenski literarni zgodovini presents the position of Ivan Potrč in Slovenian literary history within different periods. Based on reviewing literary historical works and critical reception of Potrč's literary texts, it has been ascertained that after the fall of socialism as social order, the interest in his works has considerably decreased. It has also been found, that the number of his literary works in primary and secondary school curricula has substantially lowered. None of his works can be found on the lists of required reading at Slovenian Language National Competition for Cankar Award nor on the lists of required essay reading at the Matura exam. Potrč's short prose is then analysed on the conceptual-thematic, linguo-stylistic, intertextual and comparative level in the context of ideological, social and political changes. The principal findings of the analysis show that the portion of the ideological discourse varies in different periods. Short prose 1933-1940 exhibits critical narrative of capitalism ideology and social circumstances in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Ideological discourse is only partly shown; namely as the motif of a rebellious individual with a closed fist salute, who foretells new and better times for poor vinedressers, farmers, cottagers and workers.
In short prose 1941–1952 the ideological discourse is the most presented. Certain stories from this period change into formula fiction, propaganda and tendency writing. Fable is subordinate to conceptual and ideological message, which is, during a war, shown as faithfulness to collective uprising against occupation, mutual help, comradery, trust and mistrust, deserters and treason. After war, it is shown as victory triumph, communist party take-over, which is based on Marxist and socialistic foundations, collective reconstruction of the homeland in ruins, political reforms etc. After 1953, Potrč diverges into the presentation of intimate, sensual eroticism of rural man, but at the same time, the short prose between 1953–1990 includes historical and social-political themes. At that time, Potrč thematises anomalies of self-governing socialism in the way of political fanaticism, distrust, opportunism, selfishness, egoism and taking advantage of governing ideology. The criticism of socialism and its anomalies are most visible in Potrč's last novel Tesnoba (1991), which, through thematising the situation in company Proteus, grasps the economic and political restructuring of Yugoslavia and the decline of socialism.
The dissertation ascertains that in Potrč's short prose between 1933 and 1993 the ideology of socialism and communism is recognised, however, it does not, except for certain cases, break the artistic value of his literature. Potrč was a communist, but also an extraordinary humanist. He did not make ideology the biggest value but rather a human being, who he depicted without embellishments in the difficult times of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, during the World War II and in the time of post-war changes. He depicted them with all the positive and negative characteristics.|