Celebration of belles-lettres, especially poetry
Celebration of belles-lettres, especially poetry

Quality literature lovers have been waiting for almost four years for the revival of the international literary festival taking place in Eastern Slovakia called Litteriada. Finally, the time of the 4th festival came. There were presented less known authors with literary works that were not aesthetically worth noticing.
Students of a grammar school welcomed the Polish poets Marek Petrykowski from Krosno and Stefan Jurkowski from Warsaw on the 28th of September. They were ceremonially introduced by Kamil Benko, the presenter of the event and director of the Podduklianska Library in Svidník. The authors spoke about their literary beginnings and creative path, answered the questions about their profession, sources of inspiration and both positive and negative aspects of their works. The youth took an avid interest in the authors’ student life represented by various jokes. Their poems recited in the Slovak translation were a tremendous success among the people that they asked for original recital in the native language. At the end of the session the authors were signing the anthology published especially on this occasion.

The Slovak authors Marián Hatala from Bratislava and Zdenko Fajčák from Prešov, currently based in Prague, were introduced to the readers on the next day. They were welcomed and introduced by Janka Vargová, the presenter of the event and director of the Zemplín Library in Trebišov. The authors not only recited their literary extracts but also shared their experiences from the Slovak literary life, especially from their own works. Zdenko Fajčák, who initially wrote stories only for himself, explained how important the narrative and conclusion are for him. Marián Hatala revealed the secret of what motivated him to write the book of poetry “Insomnia or Plus Minus Four Walls”. The visitors of the festival had an opportunity to visit a town park or well-known monuments such Julius Andrassy’s Family Mausoleum, ruined castle Parič or manor house in Trebišov from the baroque and classicist period.

The conservatoire in Košice arranged a literary café (or author talks) with Karl Grenzler, the writer, translator and poet from Germany, on the 30th of September. Students supervised by Marta Vilhanová prepared a literary and musical series (theatre performance). The concert was called Musicus Poesis consisting of literary works from the published anthology. Ľudovít Petraško publicly interviewed Mr. Grenzler who could not hide his excitement about the professionally managed festival. Upon receiving a question how the life of translator of Polish and German literature who has to travel between the two countries is, he simply joked. He answered that life “on the border“, always on the road, brings a lot of luggage he cannot get rid of and so his life becomes richer and it does not mind in his writing.

At the end of festival the main organizer expressed a strong belief that it makes a sense to do everything in getting poetry’s own way like an example growing the strawberries in the Sahara despite the fact that current social situation is not at the poetry’s side. There is still audience preferring the concert of philharmonic orchestra in a multitude of cultural events. Litteriada supported by the Slovak Arts Council does not give the importance to acclaim, success or favour of the largest possible number of readers.