Discussion on Central European Literature

Thursday, November 24, 2022, 6:00 PM

  • Thursday, November 24, 2022, 6:00 PM

What is Central Europe and what is its contemporary literature? What experiences are described today by writers from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland? What are the specifics of what is called Central European literature?

The organizers encourage to join for a discussion with four distinguished authors: Pavla Horáková (Czech writer and columnist), Viktor Horváth (Hungarian prose writer and academic teacher), Weronika Gogola (Polish writer living permanently in Slovakia), and Silvester Lavrík (Slovak prose writer and theater director). All of them are engaged not only in the creation of stories, but also in translation, which enables them to constantly dialogue with other literatures, both Central European and Western. What they also have in common is that they publish in Hungary’s The Continental Literary Magazine, an English-language periodical that presents writers from Central Europe, promoting their work in Western countries, primarily in the United States.

In the year 2005 – not long after the enlargement of the European Union to include new countries – Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine’s book Spirits of Europe was published in France. The author states that new hope for the European community would come from Central European countries. Revival can only come on the condition of reassimilating the Central European part of our intellectual heritage, wrote Laignel-Lavastine. Central Europe, however, is not only about ideas and stories, but above all about experience, which Milan Kundera once called “work in the laboratory of twilight”. The enslavement against which the people living in this part of the continent struggled was, as Václav Havel said, a shorthand for the entire 20th century world.

The meeting, chaired by the program director of the Conrad Festival, Grzegorz Jankowicz, will be attended by:
Pavla Horákova (Czech writer and journalist
Viktor Horváth (Hungarian prose writer and university teacher)
Weronika Gogola (winner of the Conrad Prize, permanently residing in Slovakia)
Silvester Lavrík (Slovak writer and theater director)


Potocki Palace

Rynek Główny 20

Potocki Palace at Main Market Square – this is where literary programs created by the KBF team as part of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature program will be carried out. Before the Literature and Language Center “Planet Lem” in Zabłocie district is established, the Potocki Palace will be home to various literary initiatives – those organized throughout the year and those carried out in the festival mode.

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