Boris Pahor, In the Labyrinth
At a table in Trieste's San Marco café, Slovenian writer Boris Pahor talks with Olivier Barrot regarding his latest novel, In the Labyrinth, where the city of Trieste is the main character. The writer says that he's happy that Slovenia is back in the new Europe.
Of Slovenian origin, Boris Pahor was born in 1913 in Trieste. This town, Italian until the end of the Second World War, had been the cradle of the Italian Fascist party, Pahor's childhood had been influenced by the harassment and censorship against his community and against his language.
It was certainly with the memory of the Slovenian culture house fire caused by Italian Fascists in 1920 that would lead him to join the ranks of the Yugoslavian liberation Army in 1944. Arrested for resistance before being deported to Alsace then to Germany, he tells of this tragedy throughout his work in Pilgrim among the shadows (1995) but also in his trilogy (Struggling with Spring, Jours Obscurs, In the Labyrinth), which tells of Radko Suban, his alter-ego.
His novels, amongst which The Garden of Plants or Appel du navire, all presented a strong autobiographical dimension, while painting a loving portrait of the city of Trieste. Pahor remained a veritable ambassador of Slovenian language and culture.