The Slovenia Times

Litteræ Slovenicæ - Home to 60 Slovenian Books in 10 Languages


It began in 1963 when the Slovene Writers' Association, the Slovene PEN Centre and the Slovenian Association of Literary Translators, started a joint initiative to create the journal, Le Livre Slovène, to inform foreign audiences about contemporary Slovene literature and culture in general. In 1991, the journal was reshaped both in terms of content and visual elements into the book series, Litteræ Slovenicæ, with the editorial concept for the publication based on publishing representative prose, poetry, drama and essays from leading Slovene authors of various generations. The publications include in-depth commentaries by well-established literary critics that place each work in the wider literary-historical context. Translators involved in the project are the most experienced translators from Slovene into foreign languages; they are native speakers of the target language.

In 2015, the Slovene Writers' Association, with the support of the Slovenian Book Agency and the European Commission, began to implement the project Litteræ Slovenicæ: A Small Literature in Major Languages, in the framework of which the web portal was created. Aimed at foreign readers, this portal includes information on all the books that have been translated, as well as on the authors and translators.

In addition to the German translation of Jana Putrle Srdić's poetry collection To noč bodo hrošči prilezli iz zemlje (The Night the Beetles Come out of the Ground), in the "Cankar year" of 2018 - where Slovenes are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ivan Cankar, Slovenia's greatest and also first professional writer - Litteræ Slovenicæ also published Podobe iz sanj (Images from Dreams), Cankar's final collection of short stories and sketches. The special edition includes reproductions of paintings by Mitja Ficko. "This marks the conclusion of one the most ambitious book projects of the Slovene Writers' Association. In this special year, we wanted, on the one hand, to pay homage to our famous writer, while, on the other, through the first special edition of Litteræ Slovenicæ, launch the special representative collection of key Slovene literature in foreign languages in connection with other artistic types and new, different views on already canonised authors. Cankar has been engaged through translation, essays and paintings by representatives of younger and middle generations of Slovene artists including Erica Johnson Debeljak, Jasmin B. Frelih, Mitja Ficko, Katja Perat and Robert Simonišek. At the same time, the book is a premium product from the award-winning designer, Pavla Bonča and is not only food for the soul but also a pleasure to look at," wrote series editor, Tanja Petrič.

Designed by Ranko Novak and Pavla Bonča, two leading Slovene graphic designers, books from the Litteræ Slovenicæ collection are ideal business and protocol gifts. Pleasing to the eye, they contain a selection of the peak of Slovene literature in translation. Books in the Litteræ Slovenicæ series are an international home, with more than 150 Slovene authors, translators and 60 books in 10 languages. The series represent an image of one the most prominent aspects of Slovenia, its colourful artistic landscape and rich literary heritage.


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