Andro Vid Mihičić – poetry in English

andro_vid_mihicic_youngAndro Vid Mihičić was born in the idyllic village of Beli on the island of Cres on 26th March 1896. He was an art historian, professor and poet. At an early age he enjoyed nature and philosophy. He was educated in Paris as a Franciscan Tertiary Friar and there he graduated from the Faculty of Art History at La Sorbonne. During the Second World War he joined the anti-fascist movement as a military chaplain. In 1944 he left the Franciscan Order. After the war he was chosen as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He only began to publish his poems when he was 92.

Here are some excerpts from his beautiful short poems, translated from the original Croatian into English, which accompany the sculptures of Ljubo de Karina on the trails in the forests of Tramuntana on the northern part of the island of Cres.

Testament
I have no sons, no grandsons.
To whom shall I leave my poem and my dream
and the great wings of foreboding
which in infinity flap?
To you, my people!
From you I sprang,
through you I return to immortality
so I flow through the underground again
with the flowers in the fields I blossom
and build stalactites underground
for a temple of beauty and dreams.
All to you and only to you,
my Croatian people.

beli alleyWhen I arrived in Beli
it was dark.
Stables full of dying sounds.
Gorges and glens full of ghosts and spectres,
the sea full of stars
and the sky,
full of deep secrets
and an infinite blueness.

beli flowerHave you ever heard flowers talking at night?
Around us everything is full of secrets.
Even in a rock life is hidden
– nothing is dead.

 

 

life in a rockLife is also hidden in a rock,
dreamt of, but it’s there.
Hit it, you’ll hear its heart beating.

 

 

beli ruined houseWhat are you looking for – a flower asks me –
In the mist in front of the ruined houses
In the darkness even trees pray.
Talk to me, wind, about the sun
On the field.

 

beli pathNature cleanses the man,
It fills him with power of the mind,
instinct and the forces of life,
And reveals a secret of modesty.

 

 

beli cliff viewOn the cliff near my village
griffons build nests
into the sky they dive
they circle
they rise up
and defy the storms.

*****

His poetry accompanies the sculptures of Ljubo de Karina on the eco-trails in the forests of Tramuntana on the northern part of the island of Cres.

Ljubo-de-Karina-montageHe died on 26th January 1992 in Mali Lošinj.

Andro Vid Mihičić - picture from Tramuntana guide book, published by Eko Centar Caput Insulae 2007

Andro Vid Mihičić – picture from Tramuntana guide book, published by Eko Centar Caput Insulae 2007

Andro_vid_mihicic_bustA bust of Andro Vid Mihičić is placed on the side of the parish church in Beli in his honour.

Beli - the idyllic hilltop village on the island of Cres where Mihičić was born.

Beli – the idyllic hilltop village on the island of Cres where Mihičić was born.

Kamov – ‘Isušena kaljuža’ English extracts

Extracts from my work-in-progress translation of Janko Polić Kamov’s revolutionary, modernist novel ‘Isušena kaljuža‘ (working title ‘The Dried Up Mire‘).

These extracts are from the first part of the novel ‘Na dnu‘ (‘At the Bottom‘).

isusena-kaljuza-cover-insetThey set off on a walk. Across the square passed a funeral, a long cortège of men, women and some kind of craftsmen’s guild. The music slowly followed the sad and boring step, under the gloomy sky, on the unbearable Sunday, which had closed the shops, cleaned the marketplace, brought people out for a walk or made them yawn at the windows of their houses. It was after noon. There were people at the side, who were looking blankly at the procession. The colourful robes, both genders, young and old, all with the same looks, which were neither of sadness nor curiosity, but of a kind of long, protracted and half-dead look, that notices nothing, but sees everything. The tolling of bells rang out like somebody’s voices breaking up then returning, sinking and re-merging like a castaway at sea. Arsen stared at the coffin. Behind it there cried one young woman, throwing her head wildly into a handkerchief and twitching her shoulders as though wanting to shake off some burden. One gentleman was reconciling her, but she just shook her head all the more wildly and the sounds like a torn crack came crashing down onto the white coffin and the stinking corpse inside it. “She’s crying” and immediately Arsen wants a young woman to cry for him upon his death too, dressed in black, with red-hot cheeks, and that she throws her head into a handkerchief and touches her tears with her nose. He was moved. He was watching her listening to her sob, captivating, sweet and rich. “Yes, this kind of sobbing…Whilst I would be lying inside damp planks, on which the paint had not yet dried. In gold writing:Arsen Toplek – the people will read and whoever remembers that they knew this man will feel sorry for the dead youth and also for that dark, red-hot woman who cries for him…Even she is young…”

sprovod“No, brother workers! Our struggle will be as peaceful as our conscience. And whoever interferes with our conscience, let them quickly realise, that our conscience is the conscience of millions.” There then erupts shouting and clapping amidst the raised arms, which were flailing around in the smoky light. Arsen, agitated, not being able to handle the feelings of fear and elation that were unconsciously gushing out of him, seizes upon the impression of those arms. To him they seemed blackened and scraggy, bristling like the fingers of a huge beast that would lacerate the world and blow apart existence. The same man continued, raising his voice, as though the past of a destitute old drunkard was emanating from his mouth.
At that moment the police broke down the door with bare sabres and called upon them to “disperse in the name of the law.” Arsen didn’t hear what happened next. Several chairs were knocked over, some glasses were smashed and the restaurant began to empty. Inside a sabre still flashed around as did several bare heads that couldn’t reach the door immediately. Arsen felt a sharp blow to his back, and then the thrust of pale people trembling from anger and fear pushed him outside. Only then did Arsen see two guards striking a woman with their sabres on the other side of the street and shouting something unclear he moved closer. But they immediately left her, because at the other door the guards were still scuffling with the crowd, which was resisting with sticks and offensive shouting.

policesabresprincipTranslated from the original Croatian novel ‘Isušena kaljuža’ written by Janko Polić Kamov (as yet not translated or published in English) by Martin Mayhew

Sva prava pridržana / All rights reserved

*****************************

U potrazi sam za sponzorstvom ili drugim oblikom financijske potpore kao i prikladnog izdavača (za tisak knjige ili e-book verzije) kako bih završio svoj prijevod svih djela Janka Polića Kamova. Na prijevodu sam njegovih djela s hrvatskog na engleski jezik radim od 2012. godine. Tijekom tog procesa stvaram jedinstveni rječnik fraza i arhaičnih riječi koje Kamov koristi u svojim djelima, kao odraz i osobnog autorskog stila ali i vremena u kojem je pisao. Taj bi se rječnik mogao koristiti od strane budućih prevoditelja zainteresiranih za ovo značajno razdoblje hrvatske književnosti.
Molim vas, kontaktirajte me ako ste zainteresirani.

I am looking for sponsorship or funding and a suitable publisher (printed or online) in order to complete my translations of all of Kamov’s work. I have been working on translating his works into English since 2012. During this process I am compiling a unique glossary which could be used by future translators interested in this important period of Croatian literature.
Please contact me if you are interested.

More Kamov…

Rijeka’s Shipping Industry in the 20th Century exhibition

online-exhibitionA new exhibition describing the shipping industry in the city of Rijeka in the 20th century has opened at PPMHP Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka (the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka). I translated the exhibition’s content, website and promotional material into English.

“It all began with the Hrvat. A little steamship built for Senjsko Brodarsko Društvo (the Senj Shipping Society), which linked Rijeka and Senj, and a revolution in the thoughts of Rijeka’s ship owners and the attitude towards the steamship industry began…..”

…. are the opening words by the exhibition’s author, senior curator, Nikša Mendeš which lead the visitor through the story of Rijeka’s shipping industry over 100+ years of the highs and lows of its existence. Through the varying governing powers and through two world wars. The port was once a leading mover in European ship transportation stretching around the world with its shipping companies such as Jadranska Plovidba, Jugoslavenska Oceanska Plovidba Sušak and later Jugolinija and Croatia Line.

steamship-Kornat-in-Venice

The Jugolinija company’s ship ‘Kornat’ in Venice. One of the many vessels detailed in the exhibition.

The exhibition features models of the ships, ships’ logs, diaries of sailors, large format photographs, drawings, paintings and all manner of documents and equipment associated with Rijeka’s shipping industry.

All kinds of drawings, models and photographs enhance the exhibition.

All kinds of drawings, models and photographs enhance the exhibition.

exhibition-opening3Also interesting is the fact that the museum’s holding of memorabilia, documents, photography etc. has now been digitalised meaning that you can also virtually visit this exhibition via the museum’s website here.

The exhibition is on show in the museum in the Governor’s Palace in Rijeka until December 2014. More info on the museum’s website here.

Interested in diving the wrecks of the Adriatic Sea? Click here.

IKON – Journal of Iconographic Studies – no.7 proofreading

Ikon Journal no.7The latest edition – volume 7 of IKON – the annual journal of iconographic studies (ISSN 1846-8551) published by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka in June 2014. This is a high quality, beautifully illustrated, 340 page, publication examining the religious iconography of paintings, murals and ecclesiastical art history.

It was my pleasure to work with the editor, Marina Vicelja-Matijašić in the proofreading of the English translations in this issue which is entitled ‘Iconology at the Crossroads’.

http://ikon.ffri.hr/index.php?ID=3&lang=Eng&contentID=

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić’s House of Fairy Tales

Ivana_brlic_mazuranicIvana Brlić-Mažuranić is probably Croatia’s most famous children’s story writer. Her works have been compared to those of J.R.R Tolkien and Hans Christian Andersen. She was born in Ogulin in 1874 into a very well to do Croatian family. Her inspiration for writing fairy tales was the countryside around Ogulin and in particular the mountain of Klek. She was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize for Literature and her most famous work is a collection of stories published as ‘Croatian Tales of Long Ago’ based on ancient Slavic mythology. One of her most popular stories is ‘The Brave Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice’ which along with the tales collection has been translated into many languages and enjoyed by children all around the world.

ivana logoIn honour of Ivana’s contribution to literature the town of Ogulin has been regularly holding a Festival of Fairy Tales and in late 2013 the Ogulin Tourist Board opened an interactive, multimedia visitor’s centre ‘Ivana’s House of Fairy Tales‘ to celebrate the life and work of Croatia’s greatest children’s writer.
I was very honoured to have been involved in the project as an English language proofreader for all parts of the centre, the interactive games and exhibitions featured inside as well as all the promotional material, brochures, books and DVD accompanying the project. It was a pleasure working with the translator Nada Kujundžić and the project management team at Muze d.o.o.
Ogulin promotional material

The visitor’s centre offers an array of exhibitions, workshops, state-of-the-art interactive games, touch-screen, multimedia installations all in order to stimulate children’s imaginations about fairy tales, myths, legends and tales as well as a memorial to Ivana’s life and her works.

The town of Ogulin has also created a Fairy Tale Route which winds through the town and its environs. The video below sums up superbly the whole atmosphere of the project. All-in-all it has turned the town into the Homeland of Fairy Tales, well worth a visit!

Ivana’s work is so popular that she even features in school yard graffiti – this is at the Podmurvice primary school in Rijeka :)
OŠ PodmurviceIvana's tale of Hlapić (ENG Laptich) the schoolmaker's apprentice features is popular amongst children and features in many children playgrounds. Here in Turnić near Rijeka.

Ivana’s tale of Hlapić (ENG Laptich) the schoolmaker’s apprentice features is popular amongst children and features in many children playgrounds. Here in Turnić near Rijeka.

halpic4 hlapic1 hlapic2

hlapic5

Green & Blue magazine translation

Zeleno i plavo‘ (‘green and blue’) is a regularly published magazine issued in Croatian by Primorje-Gorski Kotar County that highlights the attractions, traditions and local life of the county which has become internationally known as Croatia’s ‘green-blue’ county. This title derives from the fact that it covers an area of a myriad of landscapes and scenery from the crystal clear blueness of the northern Adriatic Sea to the deep greens of the highland forests of the inland Gorski Kotar region.
Every couple of years an international version is published in English which gathers together the choicest bits from the previous Croatian language editions – under the title of ‘Green & Blue’.

green and blue 2014

‘Green & Blue’ 2014 English edition

I was honoured to have been able to translate the Croatian text into English for the County where I live – Rijeka being the main city.pgzlogo ‘Green & Blue’ number 3 is 80 pages full of informative, interesting, entertaining articles about the life of the people of the County, their work, skills, hobbies as well as the industries, tourism, sports and more – not forgetting of course the beautiful countryside which Primorje-Gorski Kotar County is famous for.

green and blue 2014 magazineThe outstanding photography, enlightening text and detailed information about the County make this an essential insight into the life and work of the people and their interaction with nature, and it provides a valuable glimpse for tourists, visitors and potential business partners coming to the region.

Editor: Ermina Duraj
Editor in chief: Dragan Ogurlić
English translation: Martin Mayhew
Graphic design: Ivica Oreb
Marketing and production: Makol Marketing, Rijeka
Printed by: Kerchoffest, Zagreb

 

Centenary of Rijeka’s Stadium

2013 saw the 100th anniversary of Rijeka’s sports stadium and to celebrate this the publishing house Adamić, in conjunction with Grad Rijeka’s council, published a commemorative book ‘100 Godina Stadiona Kantrida’.

100 godina stadiona kantrida

“100 Years of the Kantrida Stadium, Rijeka”

“In the hundred year period on the battlefield of Rijeka’s sporting temple, sporting as well as political interests have been intertwined. Through the transformations of the former quarry the social and cultural development of the city of Rijeka can be traced.”

The book is illustrated with many photographs and diagrams detailing the history of the site, the uses it has served over the decades right up today’s home of the Rijeka’s football team and the recent plans for its transformation into one of the regions newest and most exciting stadiums.

The authors are: Marinko Lazzarich, Ivo Paškvan, Ferruccio Burburan and Zlatko Moranjak

I am proud to have translated the summary into English.

You can order the book from the publisher Adamić here: http://www.adamic.hr/KA/knjiga.jsp?bi=567

Rijeka’s football team supporters – Armada, are big fans of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ (‘Mućke’)

Legendfest – writing and performances

legendfest 2011 bannerLegendfest is a three-day festival of myths, legends, folklore and live performances held every year in the small hilltop village of Pićan, in Istria, Croatia. During the festival the village becomes the backdrop for storytellers, children’s workshops, live theatrical shows, local food, arts and crafts and concerts, which draw on the rich traditions and history of Istria. Visitors have the chance to go back in time and experience anything from medieval poetry to ancient myths in the picturesque setting.

Each year the festival has a different theme. I have written and performed at Legendfest since 2011. The theme for 2011 was pirates – and so myself as author, Cyborgix 4E75 as composer and musician, Miki orchestral composer and Jasmina Jazzy as performer, wardrobe and make-up manager, put together the audio/visual piece “Captain Morgan’s Hidden Treasure”. I played the ghost of the Caribbean pirate Captain Morgan (yes, him from the brand of rum) who, as legend says, visited the province of Istria, settled and established the real-life village of Mrgani (meaning the “place of the Morgans”). The myth recalls how he had buried his last stash of gold and treasure nearby. Our 15 minute performance was his story and how he had returned from the spirit world to Istria to uncover the location of his buried treasure after 300 years.

captain morgan martin mayhew

Performing as the ghost of Captain Morgan

Cybergix 4E75

Cyborgix 4E75 – composer, arranger and musician on keyboards

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

In our performance we were joined by Alen Tibljaš – one of Croatia’s most respected drummers, who added some extra drama to the composition. The show was held in the tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil on the outskirts of the village of Pićan situated at the top of the surrounding cliffs – the perfect location for our dark tale of ghostly pirates and treasure.

Alen Tibljaš pićan

Alen Tibljaš added atmospheric percussion

At the end of the performance, which closed the festival on the last evening, many of the festival’s other performers came and joined us for pirate revelry and choruses of “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum. Drink and the devil had done for the rest….” The audience thoroughly enjoyed it!

Legendfest 2012 posterThe theme for Legendfest 2012 was witches, wizards and goblins and so we delved into Istria’s rich heritage of myths, legends and folklore and wrote, composed and produced a new concept and performance – “Legend From Istria”. Based upon tales of Istrian gods I played Stribor, son of Svarog – The God of Wind and I narrated the terrible story of good versus evil to take back the land of Istria which had been conquered by the Underworld demons of Bjesomar and Morana played by Cyborgix 4E75 and Jasmina Jazzy.

legendfest 2012 show

Pićan’s tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil was the perfect setting for our dramatic show

Svarog summoned up the help of Slavic gods Perun – the God of Thunder and Gerovita – The Master of War to defeat the two devils in a final cataclysmic battle scene which would see peace return to the beautiful land of Istria.

legendfest 2012

Our excellent costumes, make up, lasers and dry ice enhanced the performance

Once again we closed the festival programme after midnight on the last day, leaving the audience enthralled.

 

(jasmin): jasmin, jasmine, jasmyn

Treasures of the Adriatic Sea – book translation

This superbly written, illustrated and detailed book describes almost 60 of the most interesting wrecks of boats, ships, submarines, aircraft and all other manner of vessels which lie under the whole length of the Croatian part of the beautiful Adriatic Sea.

Treasures of the Adriatic Sea

Translated from Croatian into English – a must for all divers.

My translation of the original Croatian text into English took almost three months to complete – in total almost 350 pages!

The original book in Croatian – ‘Blago Jadrana’ written by Danijel Frka and Jasen Mešić was published by the Adamić publishing house in 2012 and was an immediate hit and so it was translated into German, Italian and now into English.

shipwreck Lina

Superbly illustrated by the author Danijel Frka

treasures of the adriatic sea

Vessels from all periods – ancient to modern day

Each wreck is extensively described, illustrated, photographed in situ, with their stories researched in detail – including one especially interesting story of one ship’s captain who stayed with his vessel until the very end only to be found still grasping the wheel on the bridge long after his ship sank.

battleship details

Battleships and submarines from both world wars have been researched in detail.

Some of the famous ships described include the Re D’Italia, the Szent Istvan and the Giuseppe Garibaldi. Along with the well-known wrecks there are also aircraft such as American B-24 Liberator bombers in the sea near the island of Vis and ancient Roman merchant boats with cargoes of amphorae and sarcophagi and Napoleonic brigs with cannons.

aircraft wrecks in the adriatic

Also detailed and researched are aircraft, submarines and ancient merchant boats.

Each site has been dived by the authors; giving precise details of the locations, the diving conditions, the currents, flora and fauna, what to look for and what to be aware of. Also important are the rules and regulations of diving and all the safety aspects required. They have also investigated the backgrounds of the vessels, the human stories, the destinies and incidents and even battle descriptions from first hand and archive sources.

shipwrecks of adriatic sea

Superb underwater photography accompanies every site.

I was very happy to be involved in the translation of this book because it opened up a new window on the place where I live and I was even more interested to read about one particular British motor torpedo boat (named MTB 655) from the Second Word War which was in fact built in my childhood town of Littlehampton in England and which sank in March 1945 near the island of Cres!

You can order the book directly from the publisher here: http://shop.adamic.hr/product_info.php?cPath=97&products_id=561

Full details:
“TREASURES OF THE ADRIATIC SEA –
A diver’s guide to the wrecks of the Croatian Adriatic”
by Danijel Frka and Jasen Mesić
Published by Adamić, 2013
ISBN 978-953-219-479-1
Hardback, 390 pages, size 21.5cm x 28.5cm

"Martin Mayhew, prevoditelj i dizajner iz Rijeke, a originalno momak iz Brightona u Velikoj Britaniji, sjajno je preveo Blago Jadrana na engleski. Sve čestitke!" - Dragan Ogurlić, editor at Adamić.

“Martin Mayhew, prevoditelj i dizajner iz Rijeke, a originalno momak iz Brightona u Velikoj Britaniji, sjajno je preveo Blago Jadrana na engleski. Sve čestitke!” – Dragan Ogurlić, editor at Adamić.

The Croatian Apoxyomenos… ancient Greek statue found in the sea near the island of Lošinj.