Saturday, April 19, 2008

KALEVALA / for my Finnish readers


Kalevala narrated to children, Vladislav Stanovský, illustrations by Stanislav Kolíbal, graphic design by Oldřich Hlavsa, published in Praha 1962.


It's mostly illustrations that intrigue me in this book, but the graphic design itself makes the book a precious piece as well. Stanislav Kolíbal, yet quite a well known sculptor in this country, was quite experimental with these drawings for that time, nothing like that seen here before. The book he had illustrated earlier (Strom pohádek / The Fairy Tale Tree, Praha 1957) was even more progressive, his pictures were composed of cut-outs and some found it offensive. See a page from his catalogue:

I like how the illustrations for Kalevala correspond with his sculptures, the way their surfaces are structured.

Anyway, the book, since it is narrated to children, is written as a prose, not like the original Kalevala, only some parts rhymes, they are on a brown paper of different size in the book and they make its design special.

I haven't read it so far, but I have known something about it, since I have learned about painting of Akselli Gallen-Kallela. So, what does this magic grinder Sampo represent in the poem? What are the theories? (I heard one daring one that it is actually a magic mushroom, amanita muscaria, but I doubt it..)

And here we have a paper collage by Kolíbal as a bonus to those who scrolled all the way to here:


heidi said...

A very beautiful edition of Kalevala, indeed!

Vilijonkka said...

Thank you for showing this and other previous books. It is amazing how in some countries has so strong own style and high quality illustration. I just love the simple and beautiful czech book art.

andrea tachezy said...

jéé, moje oblíbená kniha :-)

StanovskyM said...

Thank you for this beautiful site. Vladislav Stanovský is my father. And the book is very nice. Too bad it was released so long ago...

Bohemian girl said...

Díky, těší mě, že jste se tu zastavil a napsal mi. Tato "kapitolka" nebo jak se to česky říká, má největší návštěvnost z celého blogu. Netuším, odkud se na ní lidé dostávají. Je to už dávno co jsem to psala a myslím, že je hezká přinejmenším na pohled.