Sanja Lovrenčić, književnica i prevoditeljica, ušla je u hrvatsku književnost 1987. zbirkom pjesama Insula dulcamara. Otad je objavila još sedam pjesničkih zbirki, a poezija joj je objavljivana i u domaćoj i stranoj periodici te prevođena na njemački, poljski, ruski, slovenski, švedski, danski. Za knjigu Rijeka sigurno voli poplavu dobila je nagradu Kiklop. Autorica je zbirki kratkih priča Wien Fantastic, Portret kuće i Zlatna riba i istočni Ariel, romana Dvostruki dnevnik žene sa zmajem, Klizalište, U potrazi za Ivanom (nagrada "Gjalski" 2007), Martinove strune / Martins Seiten (Literaturpreiss SMSK 2008.), Ardura (2012), vješanje kradljivaca ovaca, roman (2015) i Kabinet za sentimentalnu trivijalnu književnost (2018). Autorica je fantastične trilogije Zmije Nikonimora te dviju zbirki autobiografskih zapisa: Zagrebačko djetinjstvo šezdesetih (2017.) i Zapisi o kući, zapisi iz odsutnosti (2020.) Napisala je nekoliko knjiga namijenjenih djeci; za zbirku priča Četiri strašna Fufoždera i jedan mali Fufić dobila je nagradu "Grigor Vitez". U programima Hrvatskog radija izveden je niz njezinih radio-dramskih tekstova, među kojima su neki izvođeni i izvan Hrvatske (na njemačkom, mađarskom, slovačkom i estonskom). Kao samostalni dokumentarist snimila je i režirala šest dokumentarnih radio-drama. Triput je sudjelovala u radu međunarodnog žirija festivala Prix Europa u Berlinu. Kao suradnica III. programa Hrvatskog radija izabrala, prevela i priredila niz tekstova s područja svjetske književnosti. Bavi se i prevođenjem književnih tekstova s engleskog, francuskog i njemačkog jezika; za prijevod zbirke kratkih priča Kuća duhova Virginije Woolf dobila nagradu "Kiklop" 2012. Boravila je u rezidencijama za pisce H.A.L.D. (Hald Hovedgaard, Danska, 2014.), OMI International Arts Center (Ghent, SAD, 2015.), Villa Yourcenar (Francuska, 2016.), Chateau de Lavigny (Švicarska, 2017.) i Q 21 - MuseumsQuartier (Beč, 2017.).
A child with a “slow parachute” jumps from the roof of his building and describes the balconies next to which she/he flies. She/he then climbs the stairs and informs us about the interior of the apartments and their occupants. Each of the tenants is unique in their own way: someone is obsessed with English breakfast, someone sleeps in a cage because he is convinced he turns into a bird during the night, someone lives in an elevator with a pet snake, someone makes mechanical animals, someone builds walls and someone tears them down…
Descriptions of the occupants of the crazy house are fanciful, vivid and amusing; the text also contains a discreet educational point: regardless of the harmless “madness” of each of the tenants, in general they respect each other, and all together form a harmonious whole. The “crazy house” thus becomes a symbol of possible coexistence, of individual freedom embedded in the community.
To the easy playfulness of the text corresponds the artistic style of the illustrator Venda Vernić, offers the young reader a kind of gallery through which one can move in two directions, up and down, finding on every page a visual surprise.
How to introduce children to the world of a famous conceptual artist? The author of the text chose a character from the artist’s notebook, a little fly. Accidentally it enters the atelier – where all objects are wrapped in paper (the situation taken from real life). One by one they unwrap themselves for the little fly, telling and singing their stories. The illustrator creates the magical space of the atelier with highly original inventiveness, masterfully inserting citations of Kožarić’s works.
This picture-book is the first within a series with which Mala zvona introduces works of great Croatian visual artists to children. The famous Croatian impressionist painter S. Raškaj was deaf – and very sensitive to nature. Therefore, the writer of this picture book chose to represent her life and work in six walks with easel in different surroundings: the garden of her childhood, parks in the city where she learned to paint, winter woods and summer meadows where she made her best pictures. The illustrator did not copy the style of watercolors made by S. Raškaj, but gave the adequate transparence and lightness to his own.
As a paper boat is floating carelessly on a city fountain, it is suddenly stirred by something that fell into it. The intruder turns out to be a cockchafer that couldn’t learn to fly. The two gentle creatures – the little boat that could so easily sink and the little bug that doesn’t fly – very quickly become inseparable friends. While floating on the fountain, they protect each other from little dangers and explore their surroundings that seem marvelous to them: balloons fly over their heads, people come to the fountain to toss coins into it and dream of luck, fireflies come to light up the night. And when real peril arises, it turns out that the little boat and the cockchafer have, along their way, already made friends who are ardent to save them. Sanja Lovrenčić thus creates a lyrical story about fragileness and the magic that resides in the world’s details which is accompanied by aquarelle illustrations of an almost minimalist quality by Mingsheng Pi.
In the legacy of Petar Gunjača (1924-2017), former employee in a furniture factory, known as photographer only to fans and collectors of photo equipment, were found several thousand photos, among them numerous shots of Zagreb from the 1960s and 1970s. Sometimes accidentally captured street scenes, sometimes persistent shooting of a same motive, sometimes deftly captured sport movement, suggestively evoke various urban atmospheres. Leading a kind of parallel life behind the lens, Petar Gunjača offers an impressive photographic opus and an interesting historical document. Inspired by Gunjača’s photos, the text writer Sanja Lovrenčić articulated her vision of the town in thirteen short prose fragments, intertwined with the story of the photographer’s life.
Sanja Lovrenčić wrote the book of prose fragments entitled Zagreb Childhood in the Sixties while she was working on the translation of Walter Benjamin’s autobiographical Berlin Childhood around 1900,and her writing is therefore marked by an interesting duality. Zagreb Childhood functions as an autobiographical discourse and deals with the elements typical for that genre: introspection, sketches of the chosen period, a fine nostalgia for childhood, which an adult can reach only as a selection of fragments that can never be made into a coherent whole; those elements could be labelled as personal and local. On the other hand, however, the book is a response to a literary text, a reaction not to a childhood or a social change, but to a certain type of writing. This leads to a completely different set of ideas, that we might call inherently literary – intertextuality, the fictionalization of the self, the use of poetic language and lyrical fragments that simultaneously connote and transcend personal experience. Thus Zagreb Childhood combines two elements that are necessary to make a quality literature: inclusion in the local context, as well as its constant dissolution – both intimacy and universality.
On a day she chooses to be a chimney sweep Alma is exploring roofs and chimneys, finding unexpected items, meeting extraordinary characters and making surprising discoveries. Playful and original, the story draws the little reader into a world that is, at the same time, reassuringly familiar and genuinely adventurous.
In this book of stories – with a subtitle: a novel – the author is playing with the science fiction genre, but hanging sheep-stealers is not a genre literature in the narrower sense of the term. Each of twenty texts of the book has a different narrative structure and is related to some problem of contemporary world, pushing chosen topics to possible or impossible extremes. So the obsession with eternal youth leads to the production of GMO people with a gene of snake, who change their skin every year but lose part of their memories in the process; the sudden loss of rare earth elements causes a major technological drawback; a solution for the recycling of plastic waste is achieved by the creation of copyrighted plastic-eating mutants; the idea of general participation in political power (“five minutes of power to everybody”) manifests itself as a travelling parliament-carousel with eight politically correct entrances; in the defrosted Arctic there is a war going on for the resources made attainable by the global warming etc.
All the stories are connected by the environment, a single imaginary world of not-too-distant future, but each has its separate setting and characters, with their interests, perceptions and – what is especially important – voices. The stories are often told through monologues and dialogues, from a somewhat distorted subjective perspective that constantly leaves open possibilities of another interpretation of things.
brush captures the moment:
the stem still looks solid
ice in its heart makes it
while the sun is shining fervently
upon deep-frozen world
you see in the background:
someone left open
the veranda door
in the coldest night
malicious master painter in the picture
on a piece of auxiliary something
delivery box perhaps in which arrived
everything that’s crammed in the corner
is painting the rotting the gray the weary
plants as they will be
in only a few hours –