Johann Weichard Valvasor
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Translators: Primož, Doris and Božidar Debenjak. Photo Nebojša Tejić / STA

Translation of Valvasor's "The Glory of the Duchy Of Of Carniola" Completed

6. 6. 2012

Ljubljana - The mega project to translate "The Glory of the Duchy Of Carniola", a 15-volume encyclopaedia by the 17th century scholar Janez Vajkard Valvasor, into Slovenian has been completed. The final book is to come out next year.

The first three in a series of five books have already been published, with the fourth scheduled to come out in the autumn and the release of the last one planned for October 2013, editor Tomaž Čeč told Wednesday's news conference.

The fifth book, "Studia Valvasoriana", is no longer part of Valvasor's 3,552-page tome that came out in German in Nuremberg in 1689. Instead, it will comprise indexes and studies by experts from various fields and poems written especially for the occasion by late Tone Pavček, Niko Grafenauer and Ervin Fritz.

In the book, Valvasor describes Carniola, the region which makes up a large part of the present-day Slovenia, through history, geography, topography, medicine, ethnology, biology, geology and other sciences.

Božidar, Doris and Primož Debenjak embarked on this tough translation project in 2009, taking up the challenge of Gothic writing and 17th century German. It was sometimes difficult to discern the meaning of the text since the meaning of some words has changed over time, Božidar Debenjak said pointing to a number of "traps" in the text.

He said the book was an interesting read not only because of the content but also because of the way Valvasor conveys it. He also writes about everyday life such as the price of rice in Ljubljana and so on.

Its value is in that it gives an insight into the way of thinking of a 17th secular person, after only religious texts from that period known so far. Although the translation is in contemporary Slovenian, the names for regions or provinces are kept in original form.

As Valvasor was about to go bankrupt, he decided to to have the book bound in white leather for his team and sponsors, an example that the institute Zavod Dežela Kranjska has decided to follow.

Aside from the 30 such special binding books available to individuals and companies wanting to support the project, there are two more limited editions.

1,500 hand-marked copies will be available at EUR 3,500 per five-volume series and will also include a complimentary map of the Duchy of Carniola.

Another 500 copies will be available in bibliophilic edition along with a pair of white gloves and a map for each buyer. The price of the five-volume book is EUR 7,000.


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Created: Sunday, Ausgust 18, 2013; Last Updated: Monday, August 19, 2013
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