A Bouquet: Of Czech Folktales

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9788086264417: A Bouquet: Of Czech Folktales
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Erben compiled and wrote A Bouquet based on his studies of Slavic folklore. First published in 1853, it is dotted with murder and mayhem : graves opening and the dead walking the earth, the animate becoming the inanimate and vice versa, ogres and monsters of lake and wood, human transformations reminiscent of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Written as ballads, Marcela Sulak's new translation perfectly captures their cadence and rhythm in an English that is fresh and energetic. Through the years A Bouquet has come to be regarded as a masterpiece and wellspring of inspiration to artists of all stripes, including Antonín Dvořák, who composed a series of symphonic poems to some of these tales. Of the many illustrators who have contributed to the various editions that have appeared over the past century and a half, Alén Diviš's artwork is generally considered the most powerful. This edition also includes Erben's own notes explaining the origins of many of these tales.

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About the Author:

Karel Jaromír Erben was born on November 7, 1811, in Miletín. He studied history and law at university in Prague and later was a member of the Bohemian Society of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, and served as archivist for the National Museum and later for the City of Prague. He eventually became fascinated with the mysteries contained in folklore and the original myth. Influenced by the Brothers Grimm and the burgeoning study in Europe of folk literature, he thus began to collect more than 2,200 Slavic fairy tales, folk songs, and legends. He died in Prague on Nov. 21, 1870.

Review:

"Handsomely produced by The Twisted Spoon from Prague, this intriguing collection of ballads and folktales ... brings alive a folkloric world where sacred trees and the Prophetess walk with lakes and children. The full-color artwork s at once harrowing and stunning." – Cerese Press

"The thirteen tales that comprise Erben’s Bouquet are elegantly simple, yet understatedly and fantastically complex. Twisted Spoon’s book design is beautiful, and the accompanying illustrations are hauntingly brilliant." –New Pages

"The thirteen tales in A Bouquet are not radically different from the Anglo-Saxon or specifically American folktales which might be more familiar to an English-language reader, although they certainly contain elements unique to their Bohemian origins." –Necessary Fiction

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