Janko Lavrin (1887 – 13 August 1986) was a Slovenian novelist, poet, critic, translator and historian. He was Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Nottingham. An enthusiast for psycho-analysis, he wrote what he called 'psycho-critical studies' of Ibsen, Nietzsche and Tolstoy.
Lavrin was born in Krupa, White Carniola, Slovenia. He was educated in Austria, Russia and Scandinavia, moving to St Petersburg in 1908 to study Russian language and literature. He was a journalist in St Petersburg before World War I. In 1915-16 he served as war correspondent for Novoye Vremya covering the Serbian army's retreat through Albania.
Returning to Russia in 1917, Lavrin decided to stay to England. He found work as a journalist, becoming part of the circle around A. R. Orage. In 1919 Bernard Pares helped Lavrin to get a teaching job at the University of Nottingham, and he became Professor of Slavonic Studies there in 1923.
Lavrin was a friend of the Russian critic D. S. Mirsky in London in the 1920s. In 1928 he married the artist and book illustrator Nora Fry. In 1934-5 he edited The European Quarterly with Edwin Muir. During World War II he joined the BBC, broadcasting to occupied Europe. He rejoined Nottingham University part-time in 1944.
After retirement from the University in 1952, Lavrin continued to write and translate.
- Tolstoy: a psycho-critical study, London, 1922
- Studies in European literature, London, 1929
- Aspects of modernism: from Wilde to Pirandello, London, 1935
- An introduction to the Russian novel, New York and London, 1943
- Dostoevsky: a study, New York, 1943
- Pushkin and Russian literature, London, 1947
- Tolstoy: an approach, London, 1948
- From Pushkin to Mayakovsky: a study in the evolution of literature, London, 1948
- Ibsen: an approach, London, 1950
- Nikolai Gogol, 1809-1852: a centenary survey, London, 1951
- Goncharov, New Haven, 1953
- Russian writers: their lives and literature, 1954
- Lermentov, London, 1959
- Nietzsche: a biographical introduction, 1971
- A panorama of Russian literature, London, 1973
- Luisa Passerini (1999). Europe in love, love in Europe: imagination and politics in Britain between the Wars. I.B.Tauris. pp. 231–2. ISBN 978-1-86064-281-4. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- Catalogue record for MS 806 at the University of Nottingham.
- Gerald S. Smith (2000). D.S. Mirsky: A Russian-English Life, 1890-1939. Oxford University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-19-816006-9. Retrieved 27 May 2013.