Literature Night 09
The aim of the project organised by the Czech Centres is to make the public acquainted with contemporary European literature in an unconventional way. On 13 May, 2009 the third year of the project was realised in Prague and another twelve European cities. In the course of the evening the intimacy, which traditionally characterises the process of reading, was substituted by an exceptional shared reading experience enhanced by the combination of an interesting text, unique performance and a remarkable venue.
For the first time Literature Night 09 in Prague was organised by the Czech Centres in co-operation with Prague EUNIC cluster (European National Institutes for Culture). The cluster was established in March 2008 and at the moment comprises cultural institutes of sixteen European countries, twelve of which participated in the project. Thus a fruitful and inspiring co-operation was established between countries representing in Prague the following countries: Austria, Belgium – the Flemish Representation, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania. During Literature Night 09 each of the countries presented in Prague one of its contemporary writers.
Unlike the previous years 2006 and 2007 Literature Night 09 crossed the borders of Prague and the Czech Republic. While the Prague audience had a chance to get acquainted with the works of contemporary European authors, abroad Czech literature was introduced in a number of interesting ways through the network of the Czech Centres. Like in Prague, in London the project was organised in co-operation with the local EUNIC cluster. The Czech Centre London invited six contemporary European authors to the British Library to read from their works and to discuss European literature, its future and the significance of literary translation and multilingualism. The authors were introduced by important personalities from their respective countries (museum and library directors, authors, journalists, actors, etc.) The Czech Republic was represented by Petra Hulova’s book All that Belongs to me (Pamet moji babicce, transl. A. Zucker, Northwestern University Press 2009) and was introduced by Irena Murray Zantovska, library director at The Royal Institute of British Architects.
Literature Night 09 organised by the Czech Centre Bratislava followed the format of the Prague event. Works of some contemporary Czech authors were read at six interesting venues of the city. Famous personalities of the Slovak cultural scene read extracts from works of Jan Balaban, Vaclav Hrabe, Radka Denemarkova, Petra Soukupova, Jachym Topol and Tomas Zmeskal. On the same evening the Czech Centre Berlin organised a public reading from the work of Milos Urban. The literary evening took place in the library in the attic of the house in which the institute resides. It is the largest library of Czech literature in Germany situated at Czech Point at Check Point Charlie, a unique meeting point of the cultures of former Eastern and Western countries.
Czech Centre Stockholm focused on presenting travel literature mapping the journeys of Czech travellers worldwide. Czech Centre Vienna offered the audience extracts from the works of five Czech authors, Jiri Grusa, Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, Ivan Klima and Bohumil Hrabal. Czech Centre Moscow organised Literature Night 09 as a climax of The Days of Czech Literature. The winning translations of Ludvik Vaculik feuilletons were read by the university students of Czech philology in Moscow. Czech Centre Warsaw presented works of several Czech authors published by the Wroclaw publishing house GoodBooks – Michal Viewegh, Halina Pawlowska, Petr Sabach, Iva Pekarkova, Eva Hauserova, Daniela Fischerova, Irena Douskova, Vera Noskova or Ivan Klima were represented. Literature Night 09 was organised also at Czech Centres in Dresden, Kosice, Munchen, Paris and Sophia.
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