Tuesday 9 August 2016

Villette and The Professor on the Balkan – Part Two

In this article the translations of Villette and The Professor that were published in the countries of the former Yugoslavia will be described, except for those from Slovenia (and Macedonia), which were dealt with in the previous article. In these countries – Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Montenegro – it is essentially Serbo-Croatian that is being spoken, which, incidentally, I forgot to mention in the  list of languages that have a Villette translation. Because Serbian and Croatian can now be regarded as two languages – both have their own translations - it means that the amount of languages for that novel is raised to 31.

The first Villette in (Cyrillic) Serbo-Croatian was published in 1956 in Montenegro, in the town of Cetinje. It was published in two volumes, of 303 and 291 pages, translated by Tadija Gavrilović, and published in three versions, with red, blue and violet covers.

Cover of the 1956 Montenegrin Villette

Cover of the 1956 Montenegrin Villette

Cover of the 1956 Montenegrin Villette


The Gavrilović translation has been republished quite often, in Serbia mostly, and firstly in 1967. Beginning from here the title was changed from, in transcription, Vileta to Vilet. All these editions had 596 pages. This 1967 edition, published by Narodna Knjiga from Belgrade, had a slightly different cover than the ones that followed.

Cover of the 1967 Serbian Villette

It appears that most of these editions were part of a set of Brontë books, in which Villette was published together with Jane Eyre, Shirley, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The 1967 Serbian set of Brontë books

The Serbian Villette was reprinted in 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976,  1978, 1980 and 1986 (by the same publisher)  with a somewhat different cover.

Cover of the 1971-1986 Serbian

There were two more editions of the Gavrilović translation, in 1990 (same publisher, also 594 pp.) and 1994 (published by Narodna knjiga/Alfa; 586 pp.). The covers of these could not be found.


The set of five Brontë novels, including Villette in the Gavrilović translation was published in 1971 by Veselin Masleša from Sarajevo. It had the same cover as the 1971 to 1986 Serbian Villette, and the same amount of pages.


In 1974 the first Croatian Villette was published in Zagreb, by Nakladno Zavod, in a translation by Sonja Budak. Two more editions followed in 1975, one more in 1976, and the last one in 1986 (all 565 pp.) They all had the same cover. Sonja Budak also translated The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Cover of the 1974-1986 Croatian Villette

The Professor

The first translation of The Professor, by Emilija Jurišić, was published in 1956, in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb. There is no name of a publisher being mentioned, which makes it fair to assume it was the state of Yugoslavia that published it, as nr. 50 in a series of paperbacks (Džepna knjiga; 275 pp.). The title was Dođi, čežnjo, which translates as ‘Come on, longing.’ Emilija Jurišić has otherwise only translated some Slovenian works.

Cover of the 1956 Serbian-
Croatian-Bosnian The Professor

The second translation was published by Maticai from Zagreb, first in 1974. Two editions followed in 1975 and one more in 1976. They all had 278 pages. It was a translation by Anita Ljubić, who also did Wuthering Heights.

Cover of the 1974-6 Croatian
The Professor

In 2002 the first edition of a translation by Dušanka Šuša was published by Alfa from Belgrade (286 pp.) She translated a few more rather unknown works.

Cover of the 2002 Serbian The Professor

This translation was first reprinted in 2005 by Narodna knjiga from Belgrade (243 pp.).

Cover of the 2005 Serbian The Professor

The third edition of Šuša’s translation was published in 2015 by Polydor from Belgrade (189 pp.).

Cover of the 2015 Serbian The Professor

In 2016 the fourth edition was published, by Liber Novus from Belgrade (239 pp.).

Cover of the 2016 Serbian The Professor

The other Brontë novels
A translation of Wuthering Heights was the first to be published, in 1940 in Serbia, and in Cyrillic. The same translation, but in Latin alphabet, was published in 1962 in Croatia. Serbia saw its first Jane Eyre in 1952, Croatia In 1974. Serbia was also first with Shirley in 1954, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1967. Croatia again had the first translations in 1974.
Bosnia had its first editions of these four novels and Villette in 1971, in the set as shown above.
Agnes Grey has never been translated in Serbo-Croatian.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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