In this short novel Michael Ende takes us for a journey across Europe, Asia, Africa, all the way to Hindukush. The story’s protagonist, Cyril Abercomby is an English aristocrat and the son of a 19th century diplomat. In his childhood he follows his father on diplomatic missions and when the father dies, Cyril inherits the family fortune and continues wandering across the globe in a pointless spleen. Although he had been enjoying the luxury of grand hotels and high society ever since his earliest childhood, Cyril is haunted for life by a feeling of non-belonging, of homelessness. But then one day, he finds his home – on a painting. Suddenly his voyages become purposeful: he must find the place depicted on the canvas, no matter the costs. This quest leads him to different atrocities and a final, suicidal, mission: neither dead, nor alive, Cyril finds his home in the space of his own imagination grafted upon a real geographical place. Michael Ende thus develops a dark, but lyrical story on alienation, the power of imagination and the workings of art. His text has been illustrated by the painter Dominik Vuković who visually represented the dark contours of this story that revolves around a painting.
Mala zvona is proud to present the first Croatian translation of a selection of stories from Giambattista Basile’s famousTale of Tales (Lo cunto de li cunti or Il Pentamerone)
Basile’s collection, written in the 17th century in Neapolitan dialect, served as an inspiration to numerous fairy tale writers over the centuries; Basile’s motifs can be traced through many famous collections, such as those written by Perrault or the brothers Grimm.
In these grotesque stories – which are by no means intended for children – Basile teaches the reader about virtue, vice, deception and love while using a flamboyant Baroque rhetoric. Our selection includes the following stories: The Enchanted Doe, The Flea and The Old Woman Who Was Skinned who were also used as a pretext for Matteo Garrone’s multiple award-winning movie Il racconto dei racconti.
How would a dog perceive the Victorian era? What would be this dog’s attitude towards his mistress – the great poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning? What happens when a biographical content is treated from a purely fictional perspective? These are the questions posed, and answered, in the short novel Flush; a Biography. In this playful, seemingly frivolous but very lucid, stylistically flawless text, Virginia Woolf is dealing with the issues of history, society conventions and social justice, while exploring in the extreme the possibilities of rendering of the perceptual perspective of an animal.
The short novel Entrepreneurs by Mathias Nawrat, one of the most interesting voices of the new generation of German writers, can be situated into the dystopian tradition of the science-fiction genre with elements of social criticism. The story is happening in a well-known world, labeled by the geographical toponym Schwarzwald; however, this world underwent a certain kind of apocalypse – about which nothing is said explicitly, but we guess it had something to do with nuclear power – and the rules of an advanced technocratic society do not function any more, although they are not totally suspended. Through this fragmentary world, where nature, technology and waste interlace and form grotesque figures, roams the protagonist and narrator Lipa, a thirteen-year old girl. With her father and brother she collects different kinds of toxic leftovers while calling this activity entrepreneurship. The life of her family, in unstable balance on the edge of poverty and danger, is approaching the inevitable catastrophe.
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.
A collection of twenty short stories written simultaneously with the first poems that made the fame of Dylan Thomas. Creating his dense web of images, the young author is dealing (not without irony) with the big issues, life and death, love and madness, interweaving Welsh countryside and motives of local legends in impressive texts that defy all categorization.
Renowed Croatian poet and short story writer Dorta Jagić offers a series of highly original literary portraits of biblical heroines, drawing on material from the biblical narrative, but also from various other sources. The author gives her heroines imagined personal traits, poetic details of hair, face or gait, and more then an occasional hidden thought, connecting them boldly with contemporary world.