Miroslav Kirin’s book of travelogues brings together notes from different periods of the author’s life, but thanks to the coherence of his view and characteristic stylistic refinement, makes an organic whole. You could call it a kind of triptych: it starts with notes from Paris in 2005, the middle and most complex part is dedicated to the author’s sojourns in China, and the book ends with very short notes from various trips through Croatia. The author’s observations move in a wide range: from very simple everyday little things that catch his eye to the broad cultural issues of the Far East. Despite the variety of motives seen in the “touched regions”, the traveler’s eye shows the same curiosity and the same clarity. The moments he records often turn into micro-stories, and out of the multitude of human outlines that appear in his notes and notebooks, some gain fullness and turn into impressive characters. Poetry runs through Kirin’s “notelets” as a kind of weft – sometimes as initiator of travel, sometimes as an object of work and thought, sometimes as a latent awareness of the poetic values of language. Therefore, this book can give pleasure to both travel lovers and to all those who enjoy good literature.
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The Pursuit of Winter is the first text that a renowned Croatian poet wrote for children. The plot is triggered by the (unspoken) question: “Could something lovely become boring?” It obviously can, if it is only and always lovely, especially if the thing we are talking about is the weather. The picture book takes the reader – along with the animal protagonists, squirrel, wolf, deer, ants and birds – on a journey toward something absent but desired. And the miracle resides in the possibility to join forces and bring about the (unlikely) change.
The illustrations by Mingsheng-Pi make a perfect counterpoint to Kirin’s laconic and lyrical text. The illustrator received a Special Mention of the “Grigor Vitez” Award.