Josip Tavčar was a Slovenian pedagogue, writer, playwright, essayist, critic and publicist. He was born on 31 July 1920 in Dutovlje to Josip, a ship economist and sailor, and his wife Mihaela, born Tavčar, from Dutovlje. He died on 27 November 1989 in Trieste.
Josip Tavčar studied German at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice. In 1942, he was called to the Italian army, so he finished the officers school in Salem and remained in the army as an officer until the war ended. After Italy’s capitulation in 1943, he became a federal officer in the English command of Cosenza. He participated in the Allied penetration to the North and in the Battle of Monte Cassino with Badoglio’s troops.
After the war, he taught Slovenian and Italian at the newly established secondary school in Koper from 1946 to 1948 and completed his undergraduate studies in Naples in 1947. After that, he taught English in several secondary schools in Trieste until 1988.
He was the artistic director and playwright and Chairman of the Board of the Slovenian Permanent Theatre in Trieste from 1969 to 1981. He also worked as an external collaborator of Radio Trst A, for which he mostly prepared theatre critics and articles on the Slovenian culture.
He was a vocal critic and essayist, so he put himself in the role of an intermediary between the Italian and the Slovenian culture. In addition to publications for Radio Trst A, he reported on the achievements of the Italian literature in Slovenian print. He was one of the founders of the Tokovi (Trieste, 1956) literary collection and the initiator and co-editor of the historical overview of the Slovenian theatre Il teatro sloveno (Padova, 1975).
Josip Tavčar first focused on writing radio plays in Italian but after his contact with the Slovenian environment, he completely abandoned Italian and focused on writing in Slovenian.