The story about the hands: Boutique apartment Ivana

The story about the hands (“manus”) continues in the interior of our villa. Who is actually Ivana after who we named a Boutique Apartment „Ivana“?

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874 – 1938) was a famous Croatian writer. She has been praised as the best Croatian writer for children, as well as internationally.

She was born  into a well-known Croatian family of Mažuranić that played a part in the important events from the Croatian public life and whose home was a gathering place for the intellectuals, artists and politicians of the time to have dynamic and stimulating conversations. Her father Vladimir Mažuranić was a writer, lawyer and historian while her grandfather was the famous politician and poet.   

As she herself testifies in her autobiography, upon marrying the lawyer and politician Vatroslav Brlić, her life became a rich whirl of motherly, family, artistic and social role.

As the mother of six, she had the ability to identify with the psyche of the child, to understand the purity of their world.

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić started writing poetry, diariesand essays rather early but her works were not published until the beginning of the 20th century.

In 1913 was published her book The Marvelous Adventures and Misadventures of Hlapić the Apprentice, also known as The Brave Adventures of Hlapitc, and that really caught the literary public's eye. In the story, the poor apprentice Hlapić accidentally finds his master's lost daughter as his luck turns for the better. The picaresque novel for children about the good little boy Hlapić has a dynamic and imaginative structure and highlights the virtues of loyalty, patience, hard work, faith in God, self-confidence, helping others, etc.

Her book Croatian Tales of Long Ago (Priče iz davnine), published in 1916, is among the most popular today and with it she reached her artistic peak. In the book Mažuranić created a series of new fairy-tales, but using names and motifs from the Slavic mythology of pre-christian Croats. Based on oral and literary sources and rooted in the Slavic mythology, those tales bring a whole panoply of characters (Neva, Jaglenac, Rutvica, Regoč, Kosjenka, Stribor, Malik Tintilinić, Bjesomar, Palunko, Vijest, Ljutiša, Marun, Potjeh, etc) who embody human moral and emotional traits and the eternal search for truth, knowledge and happiness.

Croatian Tales of Long Ago are seen as one of the most typical examples of her writing style which has been compared by literary critics to Hans Christian Andersen and J. R. R. Tolkien due to the way it combines original fantasy plots with folk mythology.

Her works have been translated into many world languages, which makes her one of the most translated Croatian authors. Her books of novels and fairy tales for children, originally intended to educate her own, have been translated into 40  languages.

She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times (1931, 1935, 1937, 1938).

Ivana visited Lovran several times and wrote letters to her mother saying that she and her family had a lovely time in Lovran. She was enchanted by climate, food, scenery and people of this region.

After a long battle with depression, she committed suicide 1938 in Zagreb.

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