AHOJ Warsaw! Polish translations of Czech literature
The Czech Republic will be the main visiting country at the Warsaw Book Fair (Warszawskie Targi Książki) to be held on 21–24 May 2020. It addresses its visitors with the now familiar slogan “AHOJ!” Poland’s biggest book festival will feature 15 authors, who will be presented in collaboration with the Book World trade fair, whose main visiting country in 2020 will be Poland, and the Warsaw Czech Centre. The Moravian Library in Brno is preparing for the hosting of the Czech Republic at the Warsaw Book Fair, as commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, which initiated and is co-financing the project. The project will also be supported by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Warsaw.
Poland is a major book market for Czech literature, with some thirty translations of Czech titles being published in Polish every year. Czech books do very well in Poland, they are published in great numbers and Polish readers show a lot of interest in meeting and discussing works with authors. The Czech Republic is planning to bring along a representative selection of writers to the eleventh annual Polish book fair.
“These writers have been selected very carefully, with the help of experts who are familiar with the cultural context and the current situation in both national cultures. The huge amount of interest in Czech literature in Poland made this an important commitment. It is a completely different situation to what we are used to. There’s no need to introduce Czech authors in Poland, it will be more like a meeting of intimate friends,” said prof. Tomáš Kubíček, director of the Moravian Library, describing the key for preparing the presentation of the Czech Republic.
The members of the dramaturgical council are the translator Anna Wanik (Writers' Association), Taťjana Langášková (director of the Warsaw Czech Centre), the literary publicist and publisher Zdenko Pavelka (SČKN), the polonist and translator Lucie Zakopalová (Polish Institute in Prague), the writer Tomáš Zmeškal (PEN), the Slavist and Bohemist Joanna Goszczyńska (Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences), the philologist and poet Jakub Pacześniak (Instytut Ksiazki), the Bohemist and translator Julia Różewicz and the writer and reporter Mariusz Szczygieł (Faktyczny Dom Kultury, Instytut reportažu, Dowody na Istnienie).
“Those that will be coming to Warsaw to represent Czech literature include Michal Ajvaz, Anna Cima, Radka Denemarková, Jiří Hájíček, Petr Hruška, Petra Hůlová, Galina Miklínová, Alena Mornštajnová, Iva Procházková, Jaroslav Rudiš, Petr Stančík, Marek Šindelka, Jáchym Topol, Kateřina Tučková and Miroslav Žamboch,” revealed Martin Krafl, hosting programme coordinator in Warsaw, regarding the selection made by the dramaturgical council.
The writers will be presented on the main stage at the Warsaw Book Fair during debates with Mariusz Szczygieł, as well as on the special “Czech Stage” during the author readings and discussion sessions and, last but not least, during the autograph-signings held at the Czech national stand, at which Polish translations of books by Czech writers will be on sale.
The dramaturgical council has approved the graphics and visuals for the Czech presentation at the Warsaw Book Fair 2020, which are the work of Martin Hrdina, interior architect and graphic designer, who was also involved in presenting the Czech Republic at the Leipzig Book Fair in March 2019. They also include the slogan that Czech literature will be bringing to Poland. This is the familiar greeting “AHOJ!”, which the Czech Republic used in 2019 to address German-speaking readers.
For details of the fair, visit www.czechlit.cz.
Mgr. Bc. Klára Přibylová
Czech Literary Centre, Moravian Library section
Kounicova 65a, 601 87 Brno
T: +420 770 190 776