Translation – Slovenia – Antonov Cirkus

The project continues and this time I’m travelling – so to speak – to the beautiful Slovenia with the wonderful book Antonov Cirkus (roughly translated as “Anthony Circus”) by Peter Svetina, a story of creativity, imagination and friendship.

Technical details: 

TitleAntonov cirkusTitleCyrk Antoniego
AuthorPeter SvetinaTranslatorKatarina Šalamun-Biedrzycka
IllustratrorDamijan Stepančič
Year of publication2008Year of publication2015
Publishing companyKud Sodobnost InternationalPublishing companyEZOP
Original languageSlovenianLanguage of translationPolish
Country of originSloveniaCountry of translationPoland

Review of the book

This book takes us to Ljubljana in the 1920s, where a sailor named Anthony and his lion friend Leopold decide to start a circus. A very peculiar circus indeed, which includes a show starring a group of fleas. Unfortunately, when Anthony washes Leopold’s hair with a special shampoo that has a very strong stench, the fleas ran away and the circus loses its charm. Foreseeing the future of their circus and worried about going broke, Anthony and Leopold have a very creative idea: they will prepare a theatre play. But what kind of play and who will be the actors? Leopold sets off to find answers and the conclusion will be a very surprising one…

I love books, that goes without saying. And I am passionate about children’s books, that is also a given. But sometimes you find a book and you can’t stop looking at it because it’s so absolutely attracting that you just want to stare at it until the end of times. This book is a real work of art (like all books are, ok, I know) and it’s hilarious but also nostalgic and romantic in a way, and it takes you to a different country but at the same time you feel at home. Peter Svetina (1970) is a well-known children’s author who studied philosophy and poetry and also translates from English, Czech, German and Croatian. You can feel the poetic ambiance in this work, so delicate and rhythmic. The illustrator is Damijan Stepančič (1969), whose art is specialised in children’s books. His illustrations look like real paintings and together with the book format they create a truly 1920s atmosphere.

This is one of those books that – despite being made with children in mind – adults can enjoy and appreciate as well.

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