On October 20, 2021, at 6 pm, in the Public Reading Room of the City Library of Rijeka, the Homeland Wednesday was held on the topic of the book “The Ways of Pavle Vidas (On the Life, Travel and Writing of an Emigrant). In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about a new book on emigration, The Ways of Pavle Vidas, written by Vjekoslava Jurdan and Radovan Tadej. This is a biography of Pavle Vidas, who during his life, as a poor emigrant from Hreljin on the Croatian coast, traveled all over the world. The idea for this book came from the Chakavian poet, publicist, lawyer – Radovan Tadej, who is himself part of a large emigrant family and has been dealing with the phenomenon of emigration all his life.
“When I go to a distant world, it’s like going to a party.” – writes in his biography Pavao Vidas, a poor emigrant from Hreljin. His 120-year-old manuscript legacy was professionally processed by Vjekoslava Jurdan and Radovan Tadej.
He was only 12 years old when he left his hometown following the “call of distance”. He lived a turbulent life on five continents, mastered several world languages, and upon his return to his homeland in 1920 he decided to tackle the pens and experiences he witnessed or participated in to describe in his memoirs.
For 30 years, the Chakavian poet, a lawyer by profession, Radovan Tadej, searched for the original manuscript of the Hreljin emigrant, adventurer, travel writer Pavle Vidas.
As a child of an emigrant family from Zlobin, not far from Hreljin, who, along with Vidas, gave the champion of Croatian emigration Josip Marohnić, the founder of the Croatian Fraternal Union in America, Radovan Tadej systematically deals with the phenomenon of emigration, especially from his homeland. stories that record the history of Croatian emigration at the local and national levels.
He set out in search of the original manuscript of Pavle Vidas after reading a book written about him by Andrija Tvrtko Mursalo in 1985, an emigrant in South Africa. – Paul Vidas had three children. One daughter went to South Africa and Mursalo personally received a copy from her granddaughter. He had another daughter who lived in Hreljin and that other family also had a copy in Hreljin, however, again there is no original, but we found the third clue, and that was the son of Pavle Vidas – Marijan Vidas, who left Hreljin. in the early 1920s of the last century and in a way they forgot about him in Hreljin, and his descendants forgot about Hreljin, says Radovan Tadej.
However, they still managed to establish that he had settled in Koprivnica. The son kept the original manuscript, and as he died in the early 1970s, the manuscript was inherited by his daughter Vera, married to Tadic. – She now lives in Samobor and I managed to get to her and she allowed me to make an insight into that original. I am fascinated by Pavle Vidas for several reasons. There were a lot of emigrants from these parts, from this area, thousands, not hundreds but thousands. However, as a rule, they went to one destination. Pavle Vidas never went to the same place. He always went somewhere else. That is why he managed to pass the whole globe, adds Tadej.
He was in Australia, in South Africa, in South America, in Central America, in North America, in Northern Europe…Another thing, he didn’t just travel and just work. He also wrote. It is a very easy to read, a very legible read, for a man who had completed only three grades of the then trivial elementary school. It’s not just a travelogue. It is also a novel. That is, those are the memoirs, Tadej notes.
Pavao Vidas is already an exceptional phenomenon in the process, the phenomenon of Croatian emigration, and then much more than that, emphasizes the co-author of this multi-layered scientific monograph, writer, doctor of science Vjekoslava Jurdan.
In the literary-theoretical and literary-historical analysis of Vidas’s text, Jurdan points out that his narrative act, by which he describes himself in language, reveals several different genres.‘He is truly an exceptional phenomenon precisely because he left us a written testimony of as many as 173 pages of manuscript, ie his biography and 50 stanzas of his extensive epic poem“ Greedy English Deception ”. The conventions of an adventure novel are very recognizable in his text, moreover a picaresque novel because he is a wanderer, he wanders the world… In addition, he describes his maturation, his life from his early teens to adulthood, so there are elements, conventions of the novel about growing up or building novels, says Jurdan.
‘He won me over at first. I couldn’t stop reading. It’s just like a soap opera, speaking modern language. You can’t wait for the next sequel, you can’t stop… He doesn’t really stop and his sentence is like a path, like a composition, a locomotive. She goes forward. She keeps moving forward. You are traveling with him, is the impression of Vjekoslava Jurdan.
He first wrote his own life through his travels, and then, towards the end of his life, he traveled again to write and structure his life in narration.So there is writing travel and travel is writing, as is the title of my study. When he could no longer travel, then he traveled in sentences, in his words, in his discourse which is travel writing and which is constantly perpetuated over and over again, does not cease. How easily Paul Vidas traveled the world. He was a modern globetrotter. He traveled with such ease that today in the 21st century, with all the equipment we have, we would not go out into the world with such ease, concluded Jurdan.
The book “Paths of Pavle Vidas” was published by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies in Zagreb and the Department of the Čakavian Parliament “Bakar Region”, and the publication was subsidized by the Ministry of Science and Education.
After Zagreb, the promotion of the book was held in Bakar, and now it had its fourth presentation in Rijeka.