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«  Lipanj 2019  »

Janko Jurkovic (1827-1889)

Writer, journalist, literary theoretician, theatre worker, pedagogue, government official, government adviser, state school superintendent.


1827    Born in Pozega on November 21, son of Ivan and Magdalena b. Körmend. Primary and secondary school he completes in Pozega.

1842    Moves to Zagreb where he studies philosophy at the Academy.

1844    Enters the Zagreb Theological Seminary where he studies for a priest. During his stay at the seminary he becomes a notary, then a president of the Zbor duhovne mladezi (Spiritual Youth Assembly) literary society. His literary activity begins.

1848    Completes his theological studies. Being too young for the ordination he must wait for an entire year.

Works: adaptation of Christoph von Schmid's story Janjesce (Baby Lamb).

1849    Works as a major contributor - formally an editor of the Katolicki list zagrebacki (Zagreb Catholic Paper) magazine. Changes his mind with regard to the priestly vocation and with the consent of Bishop Juraj Haulik leaves the seminary to focus on his literary work. At the same time privately studies legal sciences.

Works: Milosrdna sestra (Merciful Sister); Bogostovlje krscansko (Christian Worship); translations in the Katolicki list zagrebacki (Zagreb Catholic Paper) magazine.

1850    Works as the main contributor in Gaj's Narodne novine (People's Newspaper) newspaper. At the Zagreb Academy of Law takes the final exam.

1851    Ban Josip Jelacic appoints him as a scribe at the newly formed Vukovar sub-county.

1852    Because he did not like the clerical work, and his desire drew him to the literary and scientific work, he accepted the offered contract professor position at the Zagreb Gymnasium to teach Latin and Croatian languages and geography in a lower secondary school.

1853    Works as the main contributor - editor in Gaj's Danica (The Morning Star) magazine. In October he is leaving for the University of Vienna where he will study two years for the teacher accreditation exam in classical philology.

Works: novella Nesudjeno - neoteto (Not Destined - Unseized); poems, travelogue, translations and instructional articles in Gaj's Danica magazine.

1854    Works: story Da s' ostala sto si; (If you remained what you are); letters and instructional articles in the Neven (Marigold) and the Zagrebacki katolicki list (Zagreb Catholic Paper) magazines.

1855    Becomes a contract professor at the Osiek (Osijek) Gymnasium.

Works: story Ulomci iz lomna i krsovita zivota starovjerskoga puckoga ucitelja (Pavao Cuturic) (Excerpts from the fractured and rugged life of an old-fashioned primary school teacher); letters and instructional articles in the Neven and the Zagrebacki katolicki list magazines.

1856    Becames a full-time professor at the Osiek Gymnasium, where he workes until 1860 with a distinctive recognition of the Royal Regency council. During this period he marries.

Works: story Ima i tomu lieka (There Is A Remedy For That Also); translations, letters and instructional articles in the Neven and the Zagrebacki katolicki list magazines.

1857    Works: preface, biography and editing of the 4th edition of Matija Ante Relkovic's work Satir (Satyr).

1858    Works: stories Tri lipe (Three Linden Trees) and Prelja (Spinner); preface, biography and editing of the first edition of Petar Kanavelic's work Sveti Ivan i kralj Koloman (St. John And King Koloman).

1859    Works: comedy sketches, critiques and other in the Narodne novine newspaper.

1860    Was transferred to the Zagreb Gymnasium, where he teaches Latin, Greek and Croatian. Ban Josip Sokcevic appoints him member of the committee which was due to draft an opinion about the way the school education should turn in order to pursue the national direction.

Works: Zice sv. Alojzije Gonzage (Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga), written for spiritual refinement of the young; story Tuskulaniade (Tusculan Writings); comedy sketches, critiques and other in the Narodne novine newspaper.

1861    Becomes member of the school board in order to be a reporter to the Imperial-Royal Regency Council on important issues concerning the regulation of secondary and primary schools and school books. He is also the main contributor and editor of the Nase gore list (Our Mountain's Leaf) magazine.

Works: short humorous story Petakinja vina (Demijohn of Wine); folk story Silom hajduk (Brigand Perforce); short articles, translations, educational articles and travelogues in the Nase gore list and the Pozorov listak (Attention's Leaflet) magazines.

1862    Due to Jurkovic's excellent work in the school field, Chancellor Ivan Mazurac appoints him a senior clerk with the Croatian Royal Chamber in Vienna.

Works: book lzabrana djela. I. (Selected Works I); travelogue Mikroskopicne crtice putopisne, od Zagreba do Novoga Sada (Microscopic Travelogue Impressions From Zagreb To Novi Sad); humorous stories and educational articles in the Nase gore listu and the Pozorov listak magazines.

1863    Works: Hrvatsko-latinska vježbenica za dolnje gimnazije. Po Spiessu. (Croatian-Latin Exercise Book For The Lower Gymnasiums. According to Spiess); Hrvatsko-latinska vježbenica za gornje gimnazije. Po Süpfleu. (Croatian-Latin Exercise Book For The Upper Gymnasiums. According to Süpfle); Jeka od Medvedgrada (Echo From Medvedgrad); story Darinka i Milenko (Darinka and Milenko); translations from French for theatre and in the Pozor (Attention) magazine.

1865    After the exemplary activities of regulating the teaching he returns to Zagreb as Second School Superintendent, and is appointed to supervise secondary schools in Croatia and Slavonia. In addition to the official duties, he cares as a member of the Theatre Board and writer of original plays for the development of Croatian theatre: plays Zatočenici (Detainees); Imenjaci (Namesakes); Čarobna bilježnica (Magic Notebook); Pradjedova slika (Great Grandfather's Picture) and Posljednja noć (The Last Night).

1867   After the the opening of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences, Jurkovic is becoming its full member.

1869   In the restructuring of the provincial government he is assigned to Department of Religion and Education.

Works: humorous stories Sudbina-jarac (Teaser Fate); Memoari stare grešlje (Memoirs Of An Old Coin); translations from English in the Vienac (Wreath) magazine.

1870   Works: humorous story Ratni memento starca Ivana (War Memento Of Old Man Ivan).

1871   Becomes Secretary of the Department of Religion and Education with keeping of the title and salary of School Counselor. Again works as a member then Vice President of the Theatre Committee.

Works: humorous plays Što žena može (What A Woman Can) and Kumovske neprilike (Godfather Troubles).

1872   Works: stories Razoreni ideal (Shattered Ideal) and Timotija Patkov.

1873   With the ascent of Ban Ivan Mazuranic's government, he works in the committees responsible for creation of legal school foundations.

1874   Ban Mazuranic entrusts him with drafting the "Zakonske osnove ob ustroju puckih uciona i preparandija za pucko uciteljstvo" (Legal basis of the organization of folk classrooms and teacher schools), and the law is being successfully adopted in Croatian Parliament. Becomes advisor to Department for Education and Religious Affairs as well as the state supervisor of secondary and primary schools in Croatia and Slavonia, also of those in the former Military Frontier. Again takes care of the Theatre. Acts as a councillor in the Matica Hrvatska (Matrix Croatian) organization.

1876   Works: scientific articles and discussions in the books Rada Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti (Works of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences) 1876 to 1888.

1878   Works: Dramaticna djela I (Dramatic Works I).

1879   Works: Dramaticna djela II (Dramatic Works II).

1880   Works: Sabrane pripoviesti I (Collected Stories I); story Seoski mecenati (Rural Patronages).

1881   Works: Sabrane pripoviesti II (Collected Stories II).

1882   Becomes Vice President of the Matica Hrvatska organization.

1886   For his very meritorious work awarded by the Emperor Franz Joseph I with a medal of the Order of the Iron Crown.

Works: folk tragedy Smiljana.

1887   Retires by Ban's decree with a special recognition.

1889   With deteriorating health, disease overwhelms him so he dies on 20th March, aged 61. He was buried at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery.



Dr. Franjo Markovic: Janko Jurkovic. Spomen-knjiga "Matice Hrvatske" 1842.-1892., Zagreb 1892.

Antun Cuvaj: "Gradja za povijest skolstva kraljevina Hrvatske i Slavonije od najstarijih vremena do danas, svezak III.", Kraljevska hrvatsko-slavonsko-dalmatinska zemaljska vlada, Odjel za bogostovlje i nastavu, Zagreb 1910.

Julije Kempf: "Pozega: zemljopisne bilješke iz okoline i prilozi za povijest slobodnoga i kraljevskoga grada Pozege i Pozeske zupanije", Hrvatske knjizare i tiskare, Pozega 1910.

"Znameniti i zasluzni Hrvati te pomena vrijedna lica u hrvatskoj povijesti od 925-1925", Odbor za izdanje knjige "Zasluzni i znameniti Hrvati 925-1925", Zagreb 1925.

Mate Ujević: "Hrvatska knjizevnost", Hrvatsko knjizevno drustvo Sv. Jeronima, Zagreb 1932.

"Hrvatski biografski leksikon", Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleza, Zagreb 2005.