The Princess beyond the Mirror is a collection of original fairy tales by the internationally acclaimed creator for both adults and children, a master of verse and prose, of music and the theatre, Bina Štampe Žmavc. A selection of canonical fairy tales, heroes and motifs are deconstructed and reconstructed in a witty way. The stories of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others become the subject of the author’s contemplation and are addressed from a unique perspective.
What will the princess do with her glass slippers? How will she defend herself against the wicked queen? And what is on the other side of the mysterious mirror? Will the star caught in the treetop finally discover the purpose of its existence and come to terms with its tiny size? What drives the infatuated moon to appear before the poet’s window every night? Will the tailor successfully protect his work against the mischievous elf? Will the poem stir the hardened heart of the jeweller? Will there be a prince who brings the right gift for the picky princess? How did the poor young wife trick the miserly ruler Stingyson? What kind of clouds does the Rain King sew? What happens to the magician Cadabra? The epilogue contains playful musings about the poetry contest for the golden pear.
All in all, a look through and beyond the mirror in which we usually see fairy tales. This makes them both fairy tales and un-fairy tales. But the interpretation is in no way simplistic and light-hearted. It is viewed through the magical optics of a camera obscura, reaching far into the other side and back, as well as deep into us ourselves. Discussing, revealing, even denying fairy tales takes us on a journey that – in a lively, witty, inciteful and poetic way – ultimately leads us back to their essence.
The magically poetic, mysterious and layered illustrations by Darka Erdelji, with their many intricate details, connections and hints, follow, respond to, reflect and underscore what is written.
Bina Štampe Žmavc writes poems, prose and dramatic texts, mostly for young readers. The motifs in her lyrical tales for children come from both everyday life as reality and a fantastic experience, she addresses topics such as the interconnectedness of the universe, mankind and nature, and also children and their playful relationship with their surroundings. Her prose work includes stories about animals and various short fairy tales and nonsense stories.
She is considered to be one of the top Slovenian authors of youth literature, while also being an established writer of adult poetry (the collection Sands in the Song, Diagonal Sun, U-ni-verse and Song for the Lyre).
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