The Legend of Steel Bashaw by Petar MeseldžijaMarch 31, 2010
I was surprised this morning by a bit of news in my inbox from my friends over at Flesk Publications, and thought I’d best do what I could in spreading the word about Petar Meseldžija’s forthcoming adaption of of the Serbian folktale Baš Čelik, entitled The Legend of Steel Bashaw. The synopsis that follows will tell you what you can expect from the story, but it’s worth knowing that it will also be accompanied by over 60 of Meseldžija’s superb illustrations.
This is one of those projects that excites both the reader and history major in me — given that it’s a folktale that we’re not nearly as familiar with here in the west, produced by an author/illustrator extremely knowledgeable in the source material itself. A rare opportunity indeed, so you can consider this pre-ordered.
A contemporary retelling of this classic Serbian folktale!
By Petar Meseldžija
Over 60 illustrations
64 pages, 9 x 12”
On the edge of a forest as old as the mountains, they still tell a tale deep into the night…
The Legend of Steel Bashaw is Petar Meseldžija’s adaption of Baš Čelik. A folktale he first heard as a boy, it was given nightly life by Serbian storytellers illuminated by fireplaces and burning lamps.
Built from the same impossible truths that the ancients used to craft all myths, this tale concerns itself with a kidnapped princess, the deeds of a heroic prince, battles lost or won, death and redemption. As with all the best stories, it also traverses lands real and imagined, ranging from the primeval forests of the Balkans to the kingdoms of the dragons and beyond.
But unlike most tellers of legends, Meseldžija knows there is a truth underlying this oft-told tale. He grew up with it and once held crumbling proof of that truth in his hands. It’s that experience which provided him with the main inspiration for this book, and it’s that same certain knowledge which informs every word and image in The Legend of Steel Bashaw.
Meseldžija has crafted a tale as vital as Beowulf, Homer’s Odyssey and the other great stories. His paintings bring his characters and their worlds to vivid life. The Legend of Steel Bashaw is his gift to the world, and it is a masterpiece.
This looks to be something very special, and at $19.95 I’d reckon you won’t want to miss it, in what I’d imagine is a fairly limited print run. Be on the lookout for it this August.