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Slovenian Printing in Fascist Italy: Leteče copate [The Flying Sneakers]



12°, 79 pp. with black and white illustrations, original pink wrappers with illustrated cover (light foxing and staining, collector’s stamp on the verso of the title page, otherwise in a good condition).


Out of stock


A rare short novel for children was published in Slovenian language in Gorizia, which was at the time a part of the Fascist Italy. The author was Stanislav Vdovič, here signed with a nom de plume Janez Rožencvet (1885 – 1947)

The illustrations were made by an artist Milko Bambič (1905 –1991), known for his political drawings, book illustrations and industrial logos. Especially legendary are his logos for the mineral water Radenska and the shoe company Peko.

Goriška matica – The Last Slavic Press in Fascist Italy

Goriška matica was a publishing house, founded in Gorizia (today Italy) on territory annexed to Italy after WWI. It was specialized in publishing Slavic, mostly Slovenian books. Until WWI, the territory with a major Slavic population, belonged to Austro-Hungary. After the war the territory was annexed to Italy, exposing the Slavic inhabitants to growing Fascist power, which during the 1920s started suppressing the Slovenian and Croatian language.

Matica in Goricia, run by the Slovenian intellectuals from the region and with a printing press Edinost (Unity) in Trieste, was one of the last Slavic publishing companies, fighting to keep the native language. By the late 1920s all the publications of the press had to undergo a Fascist censorship and hundreds of thousands of books were destroyed. In 1933 the publishing house had to Italianize its name to Unione editoriale Goriziana, and was eventually closed in 1940.

The publications of Goriška matica in the 1920s and 1930s were known for good quality texts of the contemporary Slavic authors from the region of Gorizia, Trieste and Karst, and well-designed modern covers, made by academic artists and modern designers.

We could not find any institutional examples outside Slovenian libraries.

References: OCLC 450339577.  Koblar, France: Vdovič, Stanislav (1885–1947). Slovenska biografija. Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, Znanstvenoraziskovalni center SAZU, 2013. http://www.slovenska-biografija.si/oseba/sbi765863/#slovenski-biografski-leksikon (18. januar 2021). Izvirna objava v: Slovenski biografski leksikon: 13. zv. Trubar – Vodaine. Alfonz Gspan, Jože Munda in Fran Petrè Ljubljana, Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti, 1982.

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