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subota, 1. siječnja 2011.

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (18 April 1874 – 21 September 1938) was a Croatian writer. Within her native land, as well as internationally, she has been praised as the best Croatian writer for children.


She was born on April 18, 1874 in Ogulin, Croatia into a well known Croatian family of Mažuranić. Her father Vladimir Mažuranić was a writer, lawyer and historian who wrote Prinosi za hrvatski pravno-povjestni rječnik (Croatian dictionary for history and law) in 1882. Her grandfather was the famous politician, the Croatian ban and poet Ivan Mažuranić, while her grandmother Aleksandra Mažuranić was the sister of well known writer and one of keypersons of Croatian national revival movement, Dimitrija Demeter. Ivana was largely home-schooled. With the family she moved first to Karlovac, then to Jastrebarsko, and ultimately to Zagreb.

Upon marriage to Vatroslav Brlić, a politician and a prominent lawyer in 1892, she moved to Brod na Savi (today Slavonski Brod) where she entered another known family and lived there for most of her life. She devoted all her work to her family and education. As the mother of six, she had the ability to identify with the psyche of the child, to understand the purity and naïveté of their world. Her first literary creations were initially written in French.


Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić started writing poetry, diaries and essays rather early but her works were not published until the beginning of the 20th century. Her stories and articles like the series of educational articles under the name "School and Holidays" started to be published more regularly in the journals after the year 1903.

It was in 1913 when her book The Marvelous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice (also known as The Brave Adventures of Lapitch and Čudnovate zgode i nezgode šegrta Hlapića) was published that really caught the literary public's eye. In the story, the poor apprentice Hlapić searches for his master's daughter as his luck turns for the better.

Her book Croatian Tales of Long Ago (Priče iz davnine), published in 1916, is among the most popular today in large part because of its adaptation into a computerized interactive fiction product by Helena Bulaja in 2003/2006. In the book Mažuranić created a series of new fairy-tales, but using names and motifs from the Slavic mythology of Croats. It was this that earned her comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen and Tolkien who also wrote completely new stories but based in some elements of real mythology.

Brlić-Mažuranić was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature twice, in 1931 and in 1938. She was also the first woman accepted into what is today the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1937. She died on September 21, 1938 in Zagreb.

Her books of novels and fairy tales for children, originally intended to educate her own, have been translated into nearly all European languages. Highly regarded and valued by both national and foreign literary critics, she obtained the title of Croatian Andersen.

The Marvelous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice was translated, among other languages, into Bengali (by Dr. Probal Dashgupta), Hindi, Chinese (by Shi Cheng Tai), Vietnamese (a few chapters), Japanese (by Sekoguchi Ken) and Parsi (by Achtar Etemadi). Most of the latter translations were made indirectly, through Esperantists. The book's most recent Esperanto translation is by Maja Tišljar, and important part in translations of "Adventures of Hlapić" had Spomenka Štimec, the most important Croatian writer that writes in Esperanto.

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