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14 October
2016

Spend a while in literature – on senses at the Conrad Festival

It might seem that our senses objectively inform us about everything that happens around us. Art, however, proves that everyone can see, feel or hear differently, and experience their meetings with literature in various ways. The Saturday meetings of the Conrad Festival will be devoted to senses. Their impact on artistic creations will be discussed in Krakow by Michael Cunningham, Richard Flanagan, Eleanor Catton and Marek Bieńczyk. During the evening screening of Son of Saul we will also have an opportunity to listen to Géza Röhrig himself – the writer who won an Oscar for his performance.

“I need to feel that I live in a crowded world, full of life”, said Michael Cunningham in one of his interviews, and added that he is not a loner and needs many stimuli in order to be able to work. “In this world, we walk on the roof of hell gazing at flowers…” – this poem appears in The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. Both will join us for a meeting on Saturday. The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hours and the Booker Prize laureate will tell us about the sensual experience as significant for life and art, driving them and often allowing to survive the most difficult moments. The meeting will be conducted by Magda Heydel, who will also ask them whether the language which they both speak gives them a sense of shared cultural space.

The opportunity to take a different look at reality will be presented to the participants of another meeting – this time with Eleanor Catton. The Luminaries is the story of our passions. Catton wrote her story of the gold rush in New Zealand when she was 28 and it brought her a Booker Prize – thus making her the youngest laureate of this literary distinction. The book will be soon brought to the silver screen by the BBC. The meeting is made even more interesting by the fact that Catton does not shy away from social activism – in 2015, during a festival in India, she caused a scandal, when she accused New Zealand’s political elites of greed and lack of interest in culture.

The next meeting will be based on About Them Here – an anthology of sketches on translation and language, printed in Literatura na Świecie, selected and edited by Piotr Sommer. Without the work of translators, not only Conrad Festival would cease to exist, but also any other literary festival in the world, because it is them who enable the majority of readers to experience literature. Yet, words are not always willing to get in line, and meanings are often lost in translations. This will be the subject of discussion for Zofia Król, Piotr Sommer, Małgorzata Szczurek and Marcin Szuster

Conrad Festival is created by people in the very first place, and because of them it is a true celebration of culture. Marek Bieńczyk, who has been with the festival from its conception, will be a guest of the Ball, a meeting devoted to memories and surprises, conducted by Piotr Sommer.

These are just a few of the attractions waiting for you on the day devoted to subjective experiencing of the world and sensual cognition. It is worth taking part in the meetings not only to see the writers, but also to experience what the creators see and hear in the cacophony of voices around us, and feel what they taste and touch.

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Read more at www.conradfestival.com