Ivana, the "Croatian Tolkien"
September 25, 2009 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Fairy-tale author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874-1938) has been called the "Croatian Anderson", or more recently the "Croatian Tolkien", and twice nominated for a Nobel, in the 1930s, before she committed suicide. Her most famous fairy-tale collection, Croatian Tales of Long Ago (1916), was recently adapted as a flash animation, some of which can be viewed online (flash, pop-ups) in an award-winning site. The original book in English translation (1923) at Internet Archive includes some cool artwork.
posted by stbalbach (9 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
this is seriously cool. that artwork is so bizarre. something about the negative space makes it look almost like an optical illusion, where you kind of confuse the depth of this or that object in the scene.
posted by shmegegge at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2009

The "viewed online" link contains a lot of background and biographical info but is behind a flash interface and can't be linked directly.

Croatian Tales of Long Ago, as explained in the flash site, is purely the work of Ivana and not based on ancient Slavic myth (other than borrowing the names of mythological figures) - and like much 19th and 20th century "fake lore", it contains some nationalism elements and Christian themes. However, it's still a good story like Pecos Bill, Hans Christian Anderson and Tolkien.
posted by stbalbach at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2009

The utility difference between the Internet Archive page and the "award-winning" Flash site could almost not be more striking. (The award was won in a category of a Flash website competition -- I can't tell you which one, because once the site is loaded you can't get back to that splash-screen information. Lovely.) I will save this pair to illustrate why Flash sucks.
posted by gum at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2009

Folks, it's Andersen.
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2009

Hans Christian Andersen has been called the danish Anderson...


The artwork is seriously fantastic though! Reminds me of Anton Piecks work.
posted by Sourisnoire at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2009

bookmarked! thanks :)
posted by supermedusa at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2009

Bookmarked as well! It reminds me greatly of Andrew Lang's 'The (color) Fairy Book' (blue in this case) series I had when growing up. Steeped in imperialism, but a fine collection none the less.
posted by LD Feral at 10:06 AM on September 25, 2009

In a moment of boredom, I transcribed the awards page (after getting annoyed at the delay in the flash navigation load speed). Upon realizing that the website is an image of flash pages circa 2002/3, my annoyance subsided.

Won Story category and the cartoon "Neva" was a finalist in the Cartoon category of the FlashForward2002SanFrancisco Flash Film Fest - flashforward2003.com (dead site, see Archive.org)

Won Story category at NetFestival2002 Rio de Janeiro - netfestival.com.br (dead site, see Archive.org)

Cartoon "Neva" by Edgar Beals - honourable mention in Entertainment category at Int. New Media Festival 2002 - newmediafest.com (dead site, robots blocked so it's not on Archive.org)

Cartoon "How Quest Sought the Truth" by Nathan Jurevicius in category "Animation" at FlashintheCan 2002 1st Canadian Flash Festival - www.flashinthecan.com (now at FiTC.ca)

SXSW 2003 Interactive festival contestant - vote at sxsw.com/interactive/web_awards_finalists (new site only, no archive for the page on Archive.org)

Presented at 11th International Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart in "Generation Flash" presentation by Helena Bulaja and Katrin Rothe on March 25, 2002 - itfs.de

Presented at 15th Animafest World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb - first time everyone met in person, as the collaboration was via the internet previously - animafest.hr

Cartoons "Stribor's Forest" by Al Keddie and "How Quest Sought Truth" were chosen for competition in the category "Internet short film" at Annecy 2002 Festival of Animated Films - annecy.org

Cartoon "Yagor" by Mirek Nisenbaum and interactive story "Jaglenac & Rutvica" by Ellen McAuslan were finalists at FlashAward2002 in Hamburg - flash-award.com has changed hands, check Archive.org for prior content.

Cartoons from the project were screened at Int. Krakow film fest 2002 - shortfilm.apollo.pl (dead site, see Archive.org for old content)

Cartoon "How Quest Sought the Truth" was in "Internet film" competition at Ottawa 2002 Int. Festival of Animated Films - awn.com/ottawa (now at ottawa.awn.com)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Amazing stories. They start out familiar (the old man and his three sons, the fisherman who gets his wish granted in an unexpected way) but end up strikingly different from what you might expect.

Spooky and somewhat macabre. Who said fairy tales were for children, anyways?

Thanks for the post.
posted by math at 4:55 PM on September 26, 2009

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