How did you come up to the idea to publish the novel “The Goldsmith’s Treasure“ by August Šenoa on English?
When it comes to the idea, I “blame” a burning candle at the Stone Gate. It came to my mind after I lit a candle and saw a group of tourists who were being photographed beside the statue of the Goldsmith’s Treasure, or better said the statute of Dora Krupić (the goldsmith’s daughter in the book). I wondered if this group knew anything about the statute they were being photographed with. During my research, I realized that “The Goldsmith’s Treasure” is almost 150 years old and that it was never translated into English. It had been translated into numerous foreign languages, but the English translation never came to existence. This particular anecdote led me to publish this very special book in English.
This book was written by famous Croatian writerAugust Šenoa and you say that it is a genuine tale of Zagreb. Why, if I may ask?
Because it really is! It is the first historical and artistic Croatian novel. A novel, which is based on historical facts. It tells us a tale about the forbidden love of Dora Krupić and Pavao Gregorijanec, members of different social classes. The novel shows the differences between social classes, their conflicts, reflects the habits of the powerful members of society and shows Zagreb’s history and its path of becoming a free city. The plot revisits the most famous sites of Zagreb; therefore, this novel invites all travelers to visit these streets and squares; stroll downthe Bloody Bridge, visit the Stone Gate, or just to stop at St. Mark’s Square. This novel makes for a perfect way to meet the city; our book becomes more than just a unique souvenir: it is better said a blend of past and present, connecting literature and tourism in a very special and forgotten way.
We usually say that you should not judge a book, only by its cover. But this edition has a very special one! Can you tell us more about the design of the book?
In addition to translating this book to English bringing it closer to a foreign audience, I wanted this book to be a new dimension, not only a novel that is read and passed on, but rather a subject worth your attention, a monument to Croatian literary heritage, and a true picture of Croatian design. That is why I entrusted every aspect of the design to Ivana Vučić and Tomislav Jurica-Kaćunić, award winning Croatian designers whose proposal got us all thrilled and excited. The Goldsmith’s Treasure is already a symbol of the city and its history, but its arty design as well as the in-text explanations and comments, add additional value and elevate this book to new level of cultural souvenirs of the city of Zagreb.