The novel 4000 was published in Ljubljanske zvon in 1891. Dr. Ničmah is an anagram for Anton Mahnić, a leading Slovenian clergyman who called for a complete "separation of spirits" and refused any cooperation with critics of Catholicism. Christ's unconditional separation, "Whoever is not with me is against me" (Lk 11:23), was actualized by Mahnič in a fundamentalist way as follows:
"For the love of God, one must hate the one who does not believe in Him or who does not believe that the Church correctly interprets and represents God on earth. Thus, to believe in God means to believe in a complete equation between God and the Church; there is no longer any difference between God and the clergy: what the clergy says comes directly from God!"
The main theme of Tavčar's ironic novel, which has also been linguistically updated for this edition, is clericalism; the resulting hatred that demands the separation of mind and body has always been, and still is, the worst form of clericalism. And it is this original nature of the Roman Catholic Church that Tavčar criticises with all forms of humour, as a very intelligent way of revealing reality. In its power it is a cautionary mixture of Fran Milčinski's Butalci and Orwell's 1984, so we must take its basic message seriously without losing the ability to mock.
Tavčar's text revision
hardback 12 × 20 cm 206 pages
19. 02. 2023