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The History of Science and Fantasy Fiction in Croatia

According to Milena Benini, science and fantasy fiction has a long and unusual history in Croatia. Many women authors are among the most well-known and prominent in the genre.



 

Speculative and Dark Fiction in Croatia

 
Guest post by Milena Benini
 

Croatian speculative fiction has a long and surprisingly rich history. Although fantastic ideas can be found even in Renaissance texts, it is usually considered that the key-work of autochthone Croatian fantasy is Jože the Giant (Veli Jože), the story of a gentle giant, the eponymous Jože, who works as a serf for the people of Motovun, a small and picturesque town in Istria, on the west coast of Croatia. The story is based on local folklore—Istria in particular has numerous stories about giants—but also addresses political issues, particularly the position of ordinary folk in contrast to (most often foreign) nobles and rich men. Although nominally a children’s story, this short novel remains a classic to this day, and has even given rise to a festival dedicated to all things Jože, held every year in Motovun. 

 

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