Lexicon of Pula’s Dream
Anagram - Anagram
When the brain is in the fifth gear, and adrenaline reaches Himalayan heights, then the Book Fair(y) in Istria becomes “Mythical union keeps us warm”1. As with any anagram, it can be read both ways. The first anagram of the Book Fair(y) dates back to the 14th edition of the Fair, whose leitmotif was “We are nomads, we are not at home”. Is there anything more natural, for God’s sake, than the play with words and letters at a place where, indeed, in the beginning was the Word, and it will stay that way, as long as books are dreamt of.2 The vortex of ideas that shapes each and every Fair, gave rise to anagrams – monuments crafted out of letters, dedicated to the atmosphere in which individual plans and wishes become a whole, and a program based upon megalomanic wishes and presumptions on one hand, and poor logistics on the other – that has, nonetheless, never stood in the way of Pula’s Fair being the magnifying glass for exploration of the local and foreign literature – is created and realized.
1 When the original name of the Book Fair(y) in Istria - Sa(n)jam knjige u Istri – is transformed into an anagram it becomes „Grije nas mistik unija“, which translates as „Mythical union keeps us warm“.
2 It is a reference to the original name of the Book Fair(y) that can be read in two ways. When it is read with the brackets it translates as Book Fair in Istria, while when it is read without the brackets it translates as I Dream of Books in Istria.
Bibliobusi - Bibliobuses
The year is 1998, and Taib Šahinpašić, the publisher who managed to keep organizing book fairs while Sarajevo was under siege, brought books from Bosnian-Herzegovinian publishers to Pula with a bibliobus. He came to Pula’s Forum Square with a bus that looked as if it was borrowed from the film Who’s Singin’ Over There, and in this way, not only did he produce an unforgettable scene that would go down in the history of the Fair, but an idea that would wait a decade to be realized was born. In 2008 the renowned “Utorkaši/Tuesdayers”, a literary circle from Split, came with the bibliobus, driven by the late Goran Zlojić Zloja, an ex-truck driver and founder of the truck-lit genre. The unregistered bus/bibliobus was stuck in a snowdrift somewhere in Lika, and it was found by Fair’s chauffeurs who drove it to Pula. Although chilled to the bone, the “Tuesdayers” lifted the spirits up at the Fair.
Casino - Casino
It can be called Marine Casino, or ex-Home of Jugoslavian National Army. These are all names of today’s Home of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans that each December since 2001 gets transformed into the Home of the Fair. Until then, in Pula, the books were dreamt of by homeless people. To even take place, the Fair inhabited abandoned spaces of the city or became a subtenant in the Subtenance/Podstanara, or in the now long-gone galleries Capitolium and Diana in the City Palace, and still active Gallery Cvajner. One of those years, the Fair made use of the abandoned bookstore Mladost located on the Forum Square, where now the Tourist Board of Pula operates, then the old shopping mall at Portarata Square at the point of collapse, then former Cinema Belgrade, whose stalls seats gave way to the parking lot. The cars are still there. The film screen standing right at its old spot.
Češka – Czech Republic
At the eighth Fair, one country's literature was presented in full scope for the first time. The Czech Republic was then presented in Pula as a publishing superpower – with 14,000 – yes, fourteen thousand! – titles per year. It was, like in "Casablanca", the beginning of one great friendship that resulted in exhibiting 600 Czech book titles and hosting writers such as Michael Viewegh, author of "Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia", Ludvik Vaculik, and grandiose Jiři Menzel. Along with the abovementioned authors, Magdalena Platzova, Lenka Prochazkova, and Miloslav Topinka also visited Pula, while "Epistolary", written by Dušan Karpatsky, Czech Croatist and Bohemist who brought Mitteleuropean spirit to the Fair through the program "Czech Days in Pula", and year-long engagement, deserved an honorary place in the Fair’s library.
Ćuk – Scops Owl
Musician Edi Morosin, with the help of designer Mauricio Ferlin, entered the world of the hospitality business for a short while, and same as Dock Holiday, he earned a legendary place with tavern Ćuk/Scops Owl. Although it was open for only two years – from 2001 until 2003 – that tavern, located in central Istria, in Savičenta, became an urban cultural centre where terrific concerts and literary events took place. Between those two, in the tavern, the band Gustafi had rehearsals open to the public. At the eighth Fair, this place hosted a poetry marathon within the scope of the program PEN in Pula, where thirty international guests - PEN members gathered. Ćuk was synonymous not only with the best parties of the Fair - unrivaled to this very day, where Berti Goldstein stood out with his rock’n’roll dancing skills, and Don Branko Zbutega with his small talk - but it was also famous for great sausages and cabbage.
Doručak s autorom – Breakfast With the Author
Nutritionists claim that breakfast is the most important meal, and the gourmets add – only until lunch. Breakfast With the Author, As the list of its participants, too long to be published in full, testifies, is one of the most important and seemingly the simplest programs of the Fair. Simplicity is, of course, the product of ingenuity– first of Vojo Šiljak, the program host who gave the Breakfast its form and standardized it, and then his successor Aljoša Pužar, who upgraded it terrifically. As odd as it might sound, at the Fair each day is known for its morning and Breakfast, that's why each day is good. Vojo and Aljoša hosted Breakfasts not only with almost all the best writers of this part of the world but also with the Nobel Prize winners, most prominent European philosophers, female writers who left a deep mark in the history of literature, journalists who guard the honor of their corrupted profession, musicians, artists, film directors, legendary authors of graphic novels…All in all, local and global all-stars authors’ team.
Dževad - Dzevad Karahasan
Leipzig Book Fair, Leipziger Buchmesse, is even older than the famous Frankfurt Book Fair, and, along with it, engraved on the map of European and world literature. The number of yearly visitors who come to Leipzig because of books is larger than Croatia’s population, and there, all of those who deem themselves important for unfounded reasons easily learn how insignificant and small they are. On the other hand, the greatness of those who are considered important for a reason, will be confirmed in Leipzig. The same year that the Book Fair(y) in Istria was presented in Leipzig, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian writer and frequent visitor of Istria, the late Dževad Karahasan won the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding. As one of the participants in the presentation of the Book Fair(y), he announced it, in front of numerous journalists, as: “Pula hedonistische buchmesse”. Masterfully expressing the great truth with only three words.
Đak - Student
From the cradle to the grave the most beautiful age is the school age, in December, in Pula. Monte Librić, Pop Reading, Hop Reading, PULiculAr Reform – all are programs dedicated to the students of elementary and high schools who visit the Fair in an organized manner, and leave it as future readers, maintaining the connection with the Fair without any coercion from their teachers. The program At the Uni at Noon is a natural follow-up of the intention to create a new audience for the good ol’ book.
Branko Fučić, the unforgettable connoisseur of the invisible, yet exciting Istria, interpreter of the Glagolitic graffiti engraved in the painted walls of Istrian churches, used to call himself a “sinful student”. When he presented his "Terra incognita" at the third Fair, more than two decades ago, he left this inscription in the book as a dedication to the director of the Fair: "To contrite Magdalena, sinful student Branko Fučić".
Eco – Umberto Eco
A semiotician, a linguist, a translator, a communicologist, a scientist, one of the most translated writers of today, and one of the greatest minds of the last century, Umberto Eco, participated in the 12th Book Fair(y) in Istria. For the first and full four days of the Fair, everything evolved around a planetary rose, a genius for whom that was the first, and unfortunately, the last appearance in Croatia and who proved to be a neighbor capable of sharing what is not easy to understand or accept as a collective exploration.
He participated in several programs of the festival, the most unforgettable being Work in Progress/Lavori in Corso in which he analyzed, together with Claudio Magris and twenty or so European translators of his work, how the tales of beauty and islands, hidden in his original works in Italian, are read in each of those languages. Because of Eco, the audience in Pula stood in lines, it was almost impossible to reach the stage, while the journalists’ camera flashes lit up the Fair like never before.
Film - Film
Before it became the capital of literature in this part of the world, Pula was the capital of Croatian, or more broadly, Yugoslavian film. The main theme of the 16th Book Fair(y), titled Book and Film, was integrated, like no theme before, into all of the Fair’s segments and introduced an array of new programs. Gone With the Film, American Night, and Midnight Cowboys were only some of the programs in which the interconnection between fbooks and film and the relation between books and screenplays was discussed by respectable members of Croatian and post-Yugoslavian filmmakers’ scene.
Dragan Nikolić, Voja Brajović, Mirjana Karanović, Slobodan Šijan, Dušan Makavejev, Bogdan Diklić, Goran Marković, Želimir Žilnik, Rade Šerbedžija, Goran Bogdan, Bobo Jelčić, Sergej Trifunović, Dino Mustafić, Maria Schrader, Rajko Grlić were just some of the guests who placed the Book Fair(y) on the regional film map and even transformed it into a cinema where the premiere of Goran Marković’s feature film Turneja and documentary about Konstantin Koča Popović took place with the participation of the director.
Giardini 2 – Club&Bookstore
The plan didn’t look so bad. Of course, if you ask the optimists. In other words, the ones who couldn’t imagine that a difficult and complex socio-political situation would be dealt with gunfire bursts and platoons. Nonetheless, a year after Magdalena Vodopija opened a bookstore in Pula, that (in)famous socio-political situation – had escalated, as it used to be said in those days. A war started, later named the Homeland War.
When somebody decides to make a living from a small, private, and independent bookstore in the year 1990, just before the start of the war, it's hard to imagine anything that has to do so little with reality. For example, a book fair in the winter of 1995, just four months after the Operation Storm. Still, the Fair took place and it has been taking place for over a quarter of a century now. The fact that the little bookstore from the beginning of the story is gone, doesn’t mean that the new one didn’t take its place – it is called Giardini 2.
The Fair has returned to its roots, and Pula got a year-round literary oasis.
Hvala - Thank you
For all the past and future Fairs.
Istra ispod kore - Unearthed Istria
Polis – Adriatic – Europe, a project of the Book Fair(y) envisaged as another festival, was established at the jubilee, the 10th Book Fair(y). Although this festival didn’t last long, its main program, Unearthed Istria, did survive. Unearthed Istria is about the artistic and, at the time, not so visible Istria, whose secrets were starting to be discovered due to the dedication of Boško Obradović who poured his zeal for discovery into the very foundations of the Fair, inextricably bound to its local, Istrian scene, be it literary, musical, artistic…
Since 2005, Livio Morosin, Tamara Obrovac, Dario Marušić, Drago Orlić, Danijel Načinović and many others have explored the underneath of Istria’s surface. That journey through Istria inspired the program Istria Seen through the Foreigner’s Eyes, which, in turn, resulted in the publishing of the book "U mislima čupam borove" (Vuković&Runjić), a collection of travel writings, essays, stories and autobiographical short stories authored by twenty foreign writers. Unearthed Istria reached the turning point in Montenegro with the participation of Livio Morosin, Dario Marušić, Matija Ferlin, Mauro Ferlin, Matija Debeljuh, Roberta Razzi, Dijana Vidušin, Aljoša Pužar.
In May 2007, contemporary Istrian scene was presented in Kotor, Bar, and Ulcinj, while the next year, Alen and Nenad Sinkauz unearthed Istria at the festival Un mare due sponde in Termoli.
Jedinstven - Unique
If there is a secret to the Fair’s success, apart from the dedicated work of the organizers, it lies in the atmosphere of the Fair. In this atmosphere, neither writers feel like the embodied book commercials for the mass market, nor are the readers faced with the neon-lit piles of titles and lured with flashy discounts into buying bulks of fiction books as fast as possible. “Whoever came to ask me for the know-how, I would tell them – ‘You need to believe that your work has to be done not because somebody else finds it important, but because you feel it is important.'” This is the recipe of Magdalena Vodopija, the director of the Fair. It is no secret, but it is indeed – unique.
Kiklop - Cyclops
Cyclops is, of course, the novel written by Ranko Marinković, according to which the literary award of Book Fair(y) acquired its name. From 2004 until 2014, Cyclops was the most prominent Croatian literary award given each year in more than ten categories to the authors and publishers, distinguished names of the Croatian literary and humanities scene, or those who have just embarked on the journey to become one. The first award ceremony was held in the grand salon of the ship Dalmatia, anchored in the dock Carbone. From 2009, Cyclops Award was also given for the lifetime achievement, and its first laureate was Alexandar Flaker, followed by Slavko Goldstein, Predrag Matvejević, Mirko Kovač, and Milivoj Solar. The painter and sculptor Josip Diminić is the author of the first Cyclops statue, and the following ones were crafted by the late Marina Orlić. The cancellation of the award was an attempt to raise awareness of the current difficulties at the local publishing scene. This attempt wasn’t as successful, but Orhan Pamuk, Igor Mandić, Ante Tomić, Arsen Dedić, Daša Drndić, and many many others will go down in history as Cyclops winners. One of the awards was secured through a court process by a random protagonist of the last big literary scandal in this part of the world, Ms. Nives Celzijus.
Libar - Book
All sorts of things come to the minds of people who live by the sea, maybe because of the Southern, “ill” wind. For example, in Istria, people strongly believe that libar is their word for book. The fact that “Libar by Marko Uvodić” is one of the most important books written in and about Dalmatia, primarily Split, means to them as much as Dalmatians believe that libar is theirs, and theirs alone.
And no, they won’t change their minds because the anthem of the Fair is “Dajte mi libar” (Give Me the Book), composed by Livio Morosin. Let’s put all jokes and quarrels aside, because they are unimportant. The important thing is “Libar za vajk” (Book for Ever) – Fair’s award founded in 2015. It is awarded for literary work that will, according to the opinion of the best Croatian booksellers and Fair’s audience, stay for generations in family libraries, kept safe because of its everlasting, eternal, timeless value, the one that would last forever. Former laureates are Miljenko Jergović for "Sarajevo, the City Map", Olja Savičević Ivančević for the book "Singer in the Night", Orhan Pamuk for "A Strangeness in My Mind" and Ješa Denegrij for "Gorgona".
Ljubljana bere - Ljubljana Reads
The performance of Laibach Kunst Machine in a former church, which is today transformed into Sacred Hearts Gallery; sentimental homages to the glorious protagonists of the Slovenian culture and Fair’s good friends, Aleš Debeljak and Tomaž Šalamun; program Night of the Galleries, and wonderful nights with now unfortunately late Metka Krašovec, Šalamun’s widow; days and all the rest of time with Goran Vojnović, officially Slovenian film director and writer, whose identity is, nonetheless, intervowen with Pula. Ljubljana Reads is the regional program of the 22nd Book Fairy, and it continues to be the most well-crafted regional program in the serious competition that includes the representation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian literature, followed by Belgrade Reads, Herzegovina Reads, Vojvodina Reads, Macedonia Reads…
Monte Librić – Festival of Childrens’ Literature
Without so-called strategic plans and following evaluations, without colorful tables made in various computer programs and vibrant yet empty managerial phrases, in 2008 Monte Librić – Festival of Children’s Literature, is an imaginary eighth hill that rose above Pula’s seven existing ones. Following the laws of the profession and the desire for creative innovations, the organizers of the Book Fair(y) in Istria have created and still create a hill of books for the youngest ones.
The Fair and Monte Librić used to take place at the same time: on the first floor of the Home of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans, there was a tunnel leading to a magical stage where the first book promotions took place, hosted by Mladen Kušec, who is also author of the anthem "Librić, Monte Librić". The most distinguished program of Monte Librić is Bedtime Stories of Granny Librić. The Festival of Children’s literature is today held at a different time of the year, in spring, in the headquarters of the Italian Community of Pula – Circolo.
Nezavisnost - Independence
To repeat once again, many things were unthinkable at the end of the summer of 1995, for example, that Pula would have a book fair already in the winter of the same year, and that Montenegro would sometimes, any time, regain its lost independence. The first thing, as we know, happened, and the second is memorable because the year of Montenegrin independence was also the year of the Sons and Daughters program, in which the then-young Montenegrin authors took part, led by Andrej Nikolaidis. On that occasion, three books were published: "Sinovi: pogled u suvremenu crnogorsku prozu" (Sons: An Insight Into Contemporary Montenegrin Prose), "Kćeri i sinovi: pogled u suvremenu crnogorsku poeziju" (Sons and Daughters: An Insight Into Contemporary Montenegrin Poetry), and the novel "Auschwitz Café" written by Dragan Radulović. A film by Ines Pletikos – "Sinovi i kćeri u tranzicijskom Disneylandu" (Sons and Daughters in Transition Disneyland) was also produced.
(N)j 3 - (y)
In Pula, the letter “nj” is written “(n)j”. The brackets are silent. When they asked one football coach what was the philosophy of his game setup, he responded: "The philosophy is – that there is no philosophy". One cannot get a longer and clearer response in Pula. Everything is apparently simple – first, you need to dream, and you have to make your dreams come true. It seems that there is no philosophy. But there is lots of work and will to turn something allegedly ordinary – and any book fair and festival of books and authors seem so bloody ordinary – into the unusual, into a first-class cultural event with multiple layers that constantly intertwine in a way that they neither collide with each other nor take each others’ spotlight. For the Fair to happen, one had to have a dream, and for it to last, it had to become Fair(y).
3 The original name of the Book Fair(y) in Istria is Sa(n)jam knjige u Istri, thus it contains the letter „nj“. It can be read in two ways – with the brackets it means Book Fair in Istria, and without the brackets it means I Dream Books in Istria.
Oštarije Sajma - Fair’s Taverns
Castropola – that was the name of the bookstore upon whose premises the Book Fair(y) was founded. Across the street from the bookstore, there used to be a tavern Kod Tomasa, the place where Claudio Magris came with a chair in his hands, taken from the bookstore, of course. Crowded space doesn’t prevent smart people from settling comfortably. In the legendary café Foška literature was “served” with fritters4, while in Kod Domenica Rambo Amadeus overcame one host – Kruno Lokotar – and almost knocked down another one – Boris Dežulović. Kunstkafe-gallery Cvajner, as it obvious from its name, is not a tavern. Nontheless, owing to the remarkable art historian, and even more famous host Gorka Ostojić Cvajner, as a legendary space of the city and the Fair it played that role, as did the Gallery Makina, run by Hassan Abdelghani – a photographer that has the talent to turn each and every exhibition into an unforgettable Fair gathering. The list of artistic-hedonistic oases includes Dragi kamen, P14, Bounty, Uliks, Velanera, Valsabbion, and unforgettable and abandoned bar in the basement of Hotel Pula where the audience was entertained by the greatest of them all, the terminator with a poet’s soul: Mate Parlov.
4 Croatian festive pastry that resembles little doughnuts.
Predrag – Predrag Lucić
And there was Duje! And where Duje was, everything else turned into a coulisse, and everybody into background actors of the play that lasted only for a short time, just fifty-four years. A director, a playwright, a poet, who wrote more verses on his own than several smaller nations, a journalist, an editor, a satirist. Predrag Lucić - Duje was not just that. He was more. He was everything. That is why one cannot remember Duje just by one thing. One can only remember him. "And if literature is right – and only literature can be right – and if with the departure of Predrag Lucić a history came to an end, a history of an inconceivably large, never fully discovered, so big of a world that all our worlds turned around it, then in that empty cosmos we were left without the brightest star, to roam around it and collide, unsure of our own orbits.", wrote Boris Dežulović after Predrag left off to explain to the Creator where he exactly screw up, because he, Predrag, knows that, too, just as he knew everything. With that, carefully packed burden, he used to come to Pula. He would bring a smile, too. He is gone, they say. They are lying, they have to be lying well.
Rock’n’roll – rock’n’roll
If it were only for the music, rock and roll would have never been created: there is enough noise in the world anyway. Did we just say there was no philosophy at the Pula’s Fair? We did. Wrong: there is philosophy, and it corresponds to the philosophy of rock and roll. Those who don’t know what we are talking about should come and see for themselves. For those who do know, it’s not bad for them to recap the lesson. We will also reiterate that in December the Book Fair(y) takes place in Pula, and it has a line-up worthy of good music festival: Darko Rundek, Arsen Dedić, Kemal Monteno, Vlado Kreslin, Zoran Predin, Leibach, Boris Kovač, Amira Medunjanin, Zoster, Dario Marušić, Livio Morosin, Jelena Popržan, Rina Kačinari, Rambo Amadeus, Gustafi, East Rodeo, Gibonni… Not just good, the best.
Srce - Heart
To be honest, the prose is not holding so well these days, and poetry is holding even worse. It takes place on the margins of publishing, while the mortal remains of serious literary criticism pay significantly less attention to it than to the other literary forms. One cannot become a poet or poetess. There is, in fact, no scientific evidence whatsoever that one sat and thought about whether they would, when they grow up, fix teeth, change motor oil, play the harp, play rugby, or write verses. Poetry is a matter of the heart, and this is the exact name of the program at the Fair dedicated to its glory. There are some great poets amongst prose writers and playwrights, but not many. There are more of those who attempted to write a poem, and have been traumatized for decades from that attempt. There are many more good prose writers among poets and poetesses. And all of them are first and foremost poets and poetesses, and only then other things, second, third, thirty-fifth…In Pula, they are only the first one.
Štednja - Saving
In the database of unnecessary information, there is a place reserved for the fact that the slogan "Saving is the wisdom of spending" was created for the today non-existent bank by a freelance copyrighter, professional psychiatrist, and convicted war criminal - Radovan Karadžić himself. Knowing this fact, who in their right mind would save money? “We are broke” is the perpetual answer of the Fair’s producer in chief to the wishes of the program creator, and “additional financing” is the most used phrase. Of course, one negates the other, as being broke transforms into the so-called “anticipated minus”, meaning that investing in the program continues regardless of the financial consequences. As a result, the Fair went into bankruptcy a few times already, but as we can see, it somehow survived. It is partly due to the first public-private partnership with Zagrebačka banka, Istria County, and the City of Pula. In Pula, budget overrun is like smoking: an ugly habit that is, nonetheless, enjoyable.
Tusta – Branko Črnac Tusta
He was Branko Črnac only for the authorities, and for everybody else, he has always been, and always will be, Tusta: a proletarian during working hours, and punker at all times, a frontman – not a singer, because singing is only one part of the duty and obligation of a frontman – of KUD Idijoti (Cultural and Artistic Society of Idiots), a band from Pula that has been playing in the same composition since its founding until Tusta’s death, and before which, according to his own words, Mile Kekin from the band Hladno pivo had worse stage fright, than before the Ramones. Naturally so, Book Fair(y) in Istria was the place where "Život s Idi(j)otima" (Life with the Idiots), the autobiography of Nenad Marjanović – Dr. Fritz of KUD Idijoti, was presented and where the Pula premiere of the documentary film Tusta by Andrej Korovljev took place. If until then somebody didn’t understand the energy of a working-class city charged with punk, now they did.
Utorkaši - Tuesdayers
It should have been just a regular, friendly get-together in the tavern Hvaranin. For some reason, Tuesday was chosen for this meeting. And then somebody, somewhere, called it “literary circle” although there has always been, and there will always be only one rule abuded by the "Tuesdayers": not talking about literature.
Literature is created in peace, while in the tavern, one eats, drinks, and talks about the most important issues of today, such as whether it is better to prepare spit roast with lamb or goat meat. A group of journalists and writers from Split got away from their little big town5 to appear at Pula’s Fair. The favorite writers of Pula's audience: Renato Baretić, Milorad Bibić Mosor, Alem Ćurin, Boris Dežulović, Ante Tomić, Ivica Ivanišević, Zlatko Gall… are responsible for some of the most remarkable and emotional literary gatherings. They left behind a series of book titles written especially for the Fair: collections "Naši preci" (Our Ancestors), "Naša spiza" (Our Meals), "Naši sprovodi" (Our Funerals), "Naša putovanja" (Our Travels), "Naši sakramenti" (Our Sacraments), and "Naš Mosor" (Our Mosor). They still haven’t written a book about Miss Tuesday, Lepa Smoje.6 For a period of time, until the peaceful reintegration, there was also Pure Tuesday 1861.7
5 A reference to the popular Yugoslav TV series "Naše malo misto" (1970-71) and its sequel "Velo misto" (1980-81), with the first depicting the life in a small Dalmatian town, and the second chronicling the life in the city of Split. Both were produced according to the script written by Miljenko Smoje.
6 Lepa Smoje (1920-2016), a dance choreographer, and the wife of Miljenko Smoje.
7 A (highly ironical) reference to the ultranationalistic Croatian Party of Rights 1861, founded in 1995.
Via dei fumetti - Comics’ Street
Also known as Comics’ Street or Strip Strasse. For its twentieth anniversary, the Book Fair(y) shifted its focus to comic books – an unjustifiably marginalized medium in the world of cultural events. “Scribble books” - as comic books are referred to in Croatian by their fans, causing outrage amongst the authors - made a grand entrance at the Fair, and forgot they way out, to the mutual satisfaction of all the parties. In the past years, Fair has not only featured the promotions of comic books and graphic novels, but has also given birth to Via dei fumetti/Comics’ Street/Strip Strasse, a whole street dedicated solely to comics. For those unfamiliar with the location or devoted to GPS, it is located in Pula, and it covers Maksimilijan Street and Prolaz kod zdenca. For all other inquiries, one should contact the comics’ authors. Even for dancing. They absolutely adore it.
Zatvoreno more - Mare Clausum
Pula, the city and the venue for the Book Fair(y), was once the largest war port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, the Book Fair(y) was dedicated to that unfortunate 1914. Mauricio Ferlin’s exhibition Mare Clausum opened a meaningful discussion about the Great War. The author of the exhibition, and chief designer of the Book Fair(y) associatively connected Pula's aquatorium, which was mined in 1914, a besieged French submarine Curie, and its future captain Georg von Trapp, better known as the father of the singing family from the musical, and later the Hollywood film The Sound of Music. Every Book Fair(y) is a tribute to Pula, as it is fitting for a city that allows its guests to peacefully dream about books.
Želja - Wish
In 2024 we will be organizing 30th Book Fair(y) in Istria. We wish all the best to the future organizers of the 300th edition. The time will fly. It seems that the first one was held only yesterday.