Prominent Personalities – Fran Milcinski
Slovenia – For more than a century, humour in Slovenia has been inseparably connected with the surname Milcinski – a surname we will be hearing a lot of this year, since 3 December 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth, in Stari Trg pri Ložu, of Fran Milcinski, today best known as the author of Butalci, humorous tales about the boneheaded inhabitants of the imaginary town of Butale, who “lack for nothing, only sense.” The first five Butalci stories saw the light in 1917, in other words exactly 100 years ago, when they appeared in the collection Tolovaj Mataj in druge slovenske pravljice [The Brigand Mataj and other Slovene Tales]. Several decades would have to pass, however, before Butalci appeared as a book in its own right. Milcinski himself, of whom the poet Andrej “Roza” Rozman once wrote “It is a shame he did not live longer and that there was only one of him”, sadly did not live to see its publication.
Fran Milcinski (1867–1932), a lawyer by profession, is one of the more original figures in the history of Slovene literature. He spent the greater part of his working life as a judge in the young offenders court, a position that offered him, with his innate sensitivity to social questions, plenty of material for his writing (for example the novel Pticki brez gnezda [Little Birds without a Nest]). Fatherhood inspired him to begin collecting and writing folk tales and other stories, which he published in 1911 in the first Slovene illustrated book, simply entitled Pravljice [Tales]. Many of his works have stood the test of time very well. This applies in particular to his satirical writings and of course to his apparently immortal Butalci, which finall came out in 1949, seventeen years after the author’s death, while an unabridged edition containing all 42 stories did not appear until 2015, when it was published in Mladinska Knjiga’s Kondor collection.
Issue Date: 27.01.2017
Designer: Saša Žagar
Printer: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia