From the Strange to the Wondrous: 100 Years of The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice

The Croatian Association of Researchers in Children’s Literature, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, The Croatian Writers’ Association, The City of Slavonski Brod, Matrix Croatica, and The Slavonski Brod Branch cordially invite you to an international conference
From the Strange to the Wondrous: 100 Years of The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice (The Brave Adventures of a Shoemaker’s Boy, London: J.M. Dent&Sons, 1971)
18–20 April 2013
Slavonski Brod, Croatia

The international conference From the Strange to the Wondrous is a central event in the year-round celebration of one hundred years from the first publication of the children’s novel The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić.

Throughout 2013 a range of events dedicated to the little apprentice will be organized in Croatia: exhibitions, theatre plays, school plays and projects. Scholars and experts are invited to take part in the interational conference to be held in Slavonski Brod, 18-20 April 2013, in a joint effort to critically evaluate the literary and cultural value of this unique children’s novel.

The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice is the most published Croatian children’s novel, and probably the most published Croatian novel of all times. It has been translated into a dozen languages (including twice into English and Chinese). It has been published in over one hundred editions in Croatia and abroad. During its existence it has served as a comment on Croatian history and culture, and influenced the development of Croatian children’s literature. Hlapić was an inexhaustable source of inspiration, as well as the bright spot and irrefutable proof that masterpieces of children’s literature could be written.

The conference From the Strange to the Wondrous, dedicated to the centennial of the first publication of the novel The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice, will deal with the following topics:

  • Literary, historical and cultural aspects of The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice
  • The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice and the Croatian Language school curriculum
  • Literary theoretical approach to The Strange Adventures of Hlapić the Apprentice
  • Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić: life, work and social context
  • Children’s literature at the beginning of the 20th century
  • On the eve of the Great War: cultural, historical and literary context

At the time of the conference the traditional Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Week will take place in Slavonski Brod with street performances based on her stories, baking of cakes from her fairy tales, performances of popular songs of the period, and dressing up in festive dresses worn at the beginning of the 20th century. The conference participants will be offered the opportunity of a trip to Villa Brlićevac in the wine-growing district in the vicinity of Slavonski Brod. Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and her family used to move there every July and stay until the end of grape-gathering.

The official languages of the conference are Croatian and English.

More information on the activities of the Croatian Association of Researchers in Children’s Literature can be found on our official web-site: www.hidk.hr.

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