|Abstract:||This Master's dissertation analyses cafés and taverns in selected narrative works by Ivan Cankar written at the turn of the 20th century, at a time when taverns and cafés were a constituent part of social life both in Slovenia and Vienna. During the Moderna period, café life in Vienna influenced the work of Slovene artists and intellectuals. During his stay in Vienna, Cankar frequented taverns and cafés, just as he did in Slovenia; they also featured in his literary work.
The theoretical part of this dissertation deals with the theory of space, particularly Foucault’s theory of heterotopias. The more prominent Viennese and Slovene cafés and taverns at the turn of the 20th century are also presented. The analytical part deals in chronological order with twenty-three of Cankar’s works: novels (Tujci, Gospa Judit and Martin Kačur), short prose (A jaz pojdem, Iz predmestja, Brez doma, Vedomec, Tinica, Življenje in smrt Petra Novljana, Umirajoči ljudje, Ob zori, Rue des nations, Šivilja, Pred gostilnico, O gospodu, ki je bil Tončko pobožal, Kovač Damjan, Sosed Luka, Večerne sence, Kako se je useknil gospod Peter Mozolec) and tales (Zgodba o dveh mladih ljudeh, Krčmar Elija, Hudodelec Janez and Grešnik Lenart).
In the selected works, Slovene and Viennese taverns and cafés appear as spaces connected with lunches and socialising, but they also have additional meanings. They appear as heterotopias. Michel Foucault claims that specific spaces have an agreed role and significance in society. He defines heterotopias as other spaces or counter positions planned by every society.
Cankar's taverns and cafés are never simply spaces where something happens, but hold exceptional significance for literary characters, the unfolding of the story, the communicativeness of the work, and sometimes they are also spaces of illusion, revealing the real state of society. Cankar’s literary characters and narrators usually take shelter in taverns and cafés at times of personal crises, which cause them to delve into their inner world. Cafés are often described as decadent spaces frequented by artists. In taverns, an erotic element is partly realised and sometimes attitudes to women are problematised. The themes dealt with are mainly politics, society, culture and homeland, whilst in the background there is also criticism of social conditions and provincialism.|