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Vitan Mal

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Vitan Mal

Vitan Mal
Born (1946-10-25) 25 October 1946
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Occupation Writer
Genre Children's literature

Vitan Mal (pronounced ; born 25 October 1946) is a Slovene writer.


Vitan Mal was born on 25 October 1946[1] in the Radiotelevizija Slovenija.

Literary production

Mal established his reputation with picture books, primarily storybooks for young people.[3] These mostly include novels about the problems faced by young people growing up today. Among younger children, his series of crime stories for children about agent Žardna. Some of his books have been translated from Slovene into other languages. For his youngest readers he wrote for various Slovene children's magazines including Ciciban, Kurirček, Pionirski list, Trobentica, and Zmajček. The print run of all of Mal's books exceeds 300,000 copies and, as part of the Slovene Bralna značka ('reading badge') reading program, he has appeared at nearly 500 schools and libraries.

Mal is generally considered the first Slovene write of juvenile literature that wrote, as he put it, "about apparently banal things such as having to pee, throwing up, and masturbation." Slovene juvenile literature experienced a rebirth in the 1980s in part due to Mal's contributions and distanced itself from a moralizing approach to upbringing. Young readers were attracted to his portrayal of young people as they really are, with all of their good and bad qualities.

His works for adults—Ganimed in drugi (Ganymede and Others), Za metuljem še Rok, and Nedokončana zgodba (An Unfinished Story)—were intended for a small circle of readers because they explore homoeroticism.[4]

Film and television

Mall worked as a professional camera operator and journalist for Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV),[1] and then as an assistant cameraman for the series Erazem in potepuh (Erasmus and the Tramp) and the film Cvetje v jeseni (Autumn Blooms). He wrote several episodes for RTV for the series Kuhinja pri violinskem ključu (Cook on a Treble Clef), which was aired in 1974.

The film 1977 Sreča na vrvici (Happiness on a Leash) was based on Mal's 1975 story Teci, teci kuža moj (Run, Run, My Dog).[3] This is Slovenia's commercially most successful film, with rights having been purchased in over fifty countries. Mal's book Ime mi je Tomaž (My Name is Thomas) was used by the director Tugo Štiglic (1946–) as basis for the screenplay for the films Poletje v školjki (Summer in a Shell) and Poletje v školjki 2 (Summer in a Shell 2),[3] which became Slovene cult films in the 1980s.

Personal life

Mal was investigated in 2012 for photographing children without permission at a Ljubljana elementary school and charges were filed against him.[5][6][7] He was charged with possession of child pornography in 2013,[8] and in 2014 he was found guilty and received a 2-year suspended sentence with a 5-year probation period.[9][10][11]

Works for children

  • Ime mi je Tomaž (My Name is Thomas), 1972
  • Teci, teci kuža moj (Run, Run, My Dog), 1975
  • Roki Rok, 1976
  • Mali veliki junak (The Little Big Hero), 1976
  • Vanda (Wanda), 1982
  • Sreča na vrvici (Happiness on a Leash), 1984
  • Baronov mlajši brat (Baron's Little Brother), 1985
  • Poletje v školjki (Summer in a Shell), 1986
  • Školjka svetega Sebastijana (St. Sebastian's Shell), 1990
  • Ledosned, 2006
  • Na ranču veranda, 1993
  • Hitro hitreje (Fast Faster), 1994
  • Nedelje nekega poletja, 1996
  • Ta grajski, 1998
  • Dvojni agent Žardna (Double Agent Žardna), 1999
  • Žigana (Ziggyanna), 2003
  • Žardna in hiša duhov (Žardna and the Haunted House), 2003
  • Žardna in ukradeni angel (Žardna and the Stolen Angel), 2005
  • Žardna in Četrtek (Žardna and Thursday), 2006

Works for adults

  • Za metuljem še Rok, 1976
  • Ganimed in drugi (Ganymede and Others), 1993
  • Nedokončana zgodba (An Unfinished Story), 1999
  • Napačna odločitev (A Wrong Decision), 2009


  1. ^ a b Golob, Berta. 1980. Znani obrazi. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 65.
  2. ^ Kos, Janko, Ksenija Dolinar, & Andrej Blatnik. 1996. Slovenska književnost. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, p. 277.
  3. ^ a b c Lutar Ivanc, Aleksandra. 2006. Album slovenskih književnikov. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 251.
  4. ^ Možetič, Brane. 1990. Modra svetloba: homoerotična ljubezen v slovenski literaturi. Ljubljana: ŠKUC, p. 74.
  5. ^ (17 January).Delo"Skrivaj fotografiral otroke." 2012. (Slovene)
  6. ^ (18 January).Dnevnik"Je Vitan Mal oprezal za otroki in jih fotografiral?" 2012. (Slovene)
  7. ^ (21 January).Delo"Ubogaj me in lepo ti bo! … Zdaj pa sleci hlače!" 2012. (Slovene)
  8. ^ (17 October).Dnevnik"Pisatelj Vitan Mal obtožen zaradi otroške pornografije." 2013. (Slovene)
  9. ^ (3 April)"Vitan Mal obsojen posedovanja pornografskega gradiva." 2014. (Slovene)
  10. ^ (3 April).Večer"Mladinski pisatelj Vitan Mal obsojen." 2014. (Slovene)
  11. ^ (3 April)"Obsojeni Vitan Mal: 'Žal mi je in ne bom več pisal o tem'." 2014. (Slovene)
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