“In Prague, the Night of Literature takes place in 20 locations, because we cooperate with a network of European cultural institutes and embassies. Readings begin at 6 p.m. with two held every hour. The texts are read by well-known actors from Czech theatres. Each of them will read a chosen text in a particular place. The public can visit several of these readings in their neighborhood.
“When it comes to book selection, we focus on contemporary literature. This mainly means on books that have been published or translated in the Czech Republic in the last two years, so contemporary literature, contemporary perspectives and contemporary ways of seeing the world are what we highlight during the Night of the literature.
I understand that for the first time you also have readings for the deaf? How will this work in practice?
“The subtitle of this year’s event is openness and solidarity. Open for those who can participate in the readings but cannot fully enjoy them, so to speak.
“All Night Literature also focuses on dissident languages with the participation of 20 countries. We have therefore chosen to add one more language, which is the language of the deaf. In five of the reading locations, two of the readings will be interpreted in sign language.
“We are cooperating with the Institute for Deaf Studies at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, as well as several other relevant organizations. We support communication links, so there will also be opportunities for those who are not hard of hearing to learn the basics of sign language during mini-workshops, which will take place between certain readings.
This year the festival takes place during the Czech EU Presidency. I saw that there will be readings organized by Czech centers and embassies in many European capitals. You also have readings in Asia and Africa.
“Yes, Czech centers on four continents organize their own literary nights, usually with the respective countries where they are located, so it depends on the specific context. Several Czech embassies are also involved, cooperating with professional organizations and the network of national cultural institutes in the EU.
“When it comes, for example, to Czech books that will be read abroad, these are usually books recently translated into the language of the country concerned. In some cases, the author is also invited to present the book. It varies from country to country. »
A reading is also organized by the Czech Center in New York. When will this take place and what exactly will happen?
“Yes, in New York, the event is called the European Night of Literature. It should take place on November 17. It will be held at the Ukrainian Institute and 10 countries are expected to participate.
“Czech literature will be represented by Bianca Bellová, who will also be present at the event.”
This is not the first Night of Literature in which you have taken part. Why do you think people should attend the event?
“I think it’s a unique mosaic of European writing.
“In the Czech Republic, there is also a synergy at the level of the places where the Night of Literature takes place. We have carefully selected them, as well as the voice actors and the texts.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn something new, to find out what the authors think and what their concerns are.”