6. 7. 2008

Brno – Canada for a Month

How many people have registered the fact that for the month of July Brno has become the “Canadian capital” of Europe?

Once again?

Every year in July the Brno publishing house Větrné mlýny organizes a whole month in which authors come to Brno to read from their works. Every evening a different Czech author takes the stage, and for the past few years they’ve doubled the number of readings by also having a full month’s worth of authors from some other country or place do the same: Slovakia first, then authors from Berlin, last year Belorus, and this year – Canada.

This is an audacious undertaking – months of effort to contact and get the agreement of the thirty-one authors, horrendous logistics in bringing them to Brno, infinite patience in working out the complex financial arrangements. This is, as the organizers point out, the largest literary festival in the country, and to have as guest of honour Canada, makes the whole event even more breathtaking.

So in the course of July thirty-one Canadian authors – eighteen Anglophones, thirteen Francophones – will be visiting Brno. Poets, novelists, dramatists, essayists, they’ll be reading from their works in the original, accompanied by visual presentations of translations of their texts into Czech (another formidable task, accomplished thanks to months of very professional work by students at the English and French Departments of Masaryk University). On each occasion time is set aside for questions and discussion. These are not, by the way, neophytes, authors trying to make their names. Many are well-known internationally; most have had their books translated into foreign languages.

This is precisely the kind of event that characterizes the modern, open, internationally-oriented, creative city. Something not to be missed. So have a look at the programme in English


and choose the authors that appeal to you most.

Hope to see you some evening this month at 6 pm at the Divadlo Husa na Provazku.

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