The hottest names of contemporary Polish literature and its strongest genres: the detective novel, the children’s book and illustration, discussions on the heritage, power and topicality of Polish poetry and the tradition of reportage, theatre and film, workshops for the youngest readers and conversations on the most important issues of the identity of today’s Poland, numerous domestic publishers presenting their most interesting publications – these are only some of the attractions of the stand of Krakow and Wrocław that will be available to visitors of the prestigious Book Fair in Paris.
As you may remember, the cities of Krakow and Wroclaw were invited to participate as guests of honour in the Salon du livre de Paris, which is to take place from the 19th till the 23rd of March.Krakow – the first Slavic UNESCO City of Literature and Wrocław – the European Capital of Culture and the UNESCO World Book Capital 2016 will accentuate their importance on the cultural map of Europe during this oldest and biggest exhibition event of the Francophonic world in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Book Institute.
‘The promotion of Polish culture and the mutual exchange of experiences – these are the most important goals of Krakow’s presence at the Book Fair in Paris,’ says the Mayor of the City of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski. ‘Our aim is not only the magnificent presentation of the cultural wealth of Poland and Krakow – we also want to engage participants in a discussion by means of an excellently prepared program of meetings with Polish artists.We are proud that we can present the achievements of Krakow publishers and improve the readership promotion program thanks to our meeting with French booksellers.’
The program of presentation of Krakow and Wrocław will be extremely rich – 34 meetings with leading representatives of Polish literature, poetry, film, reportage and translation will take place at the Polish stand. All meetings will be conducted in Polish and will be translated into French, and a full package of information about both cities will be available for collection at the Polish stand.
The Polish stand will become a place of many unusual meetings and surprising discussions: Olga Tokarczuk will talk to Erik-Emmanuel Schmitt about the thin borderline between story and history, Mariusz Szczygieł and Wojciech Tochman will try to answer the question about the limits of censorship, Roman Polański will talk about the relationship between literature and film, Marek Krajewski and Zygmunt Miłoszewski will disclose the secrets of making a Polish detective story and excellent illustrators Iwona Chmielewska, Joanna Concejo and Jérémie Dres will wonder whether to tell children about war and how. Visitors of the fair will learn more about Polish icons such as Jerzy Grotowski, Bruno Schulz, Tadeusz Kantor, Sławomir Mrożek, Polish Noble Prize winners and… Thorgal.
One of the most important elements of the Polish presentation at the fair will be the presence of several publishers from both cities. As many as 14 publishing houses from Krakow and Malopolska – BOSZ, Karakter, Lokator, Polish Rights, MCK, Universitas, Ha!art, MOCAK, Dodoeditor, Wydawnictwo SQN, Wydawnictwo Literackie, ZNAK, A5 and Znak Emotikon – will present their books. Each publisher will have its own shelf in one of the racks at Krakow’s stand, where it will exhibit selected books. Readers will find there, among others, beautifully printed collages by Wisława Szymborska, Martwy sezon [The Dead Season] by Jakub Woynarowski (based on The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz), volumes of poems by Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski and Ryszard Krynicki, Dziennik t.1 [The Diary. Volume One] by Sławomir Mrożek, or latest books by authors such as Marek Krajewski, Filip Springer, Georges Perec and Małgorzata Szejnert.
Apart from that, the stand will exhibit representative albums presenting the treasures of literary Krakow and the most interesting and most dynamically operating cultural institutions, including the National Museum, the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, Cricoteka, MOCAK, International Cultural Centre or the Ethnographical Museum. Visitors of the Fair will become familiar with French releases of works and biographies of the most important Polish artists and authors: Stanisław Lem, Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska, Sławomir Mrożek, Adam Zagajewski, Tadeusz Kantor, Bruno Schulz, Jerzy Grotowski, Wojciech Has, Tymoteusz Karpowicz, Tadeusz Różewicz and Rafał Wojaczek.
All books presented at the stand, as well as a set of the most important Polish new publications and an almost complete collection of Polish literature translated into French will be available in a special fair bookshop at the Polish stand.
Salon du livre is also a perfect opportunity for industry meetings. On the 23rd of March, a series of panels and discussions will be held between Polish and French publishers on the subject of the Polish Seym’s draft act on the fixed book price. The book market in France is considered to be the best organised market in Europe, and France can boast one of the best readership indexes. Many publicists attribute this to the introduction of the Lang Law in 1981, under which publishers establish fixed prices for books to be distributed. This results, among others, in the maintenance of a market balance between bigger and smaller players on the booksellers’ market and the support of quality competition between publishers. Experts will compare experiences of both countries in the stimulation of the culture-forming role of the book market.