Literary Studies Scholars From the SAS at 27th International Book Festival in Budapest
The book fair which took place on 29 September – 2 October 2022 is one of the most prestigious book festivals in Central Europe. The programme of its 27th year with Slovakia as the guest of honour was filled with insightful and lively presentations and discussions of established authors of world literature, young emerging writers, and current issues pertaining to literature. A special guest of honour at this year’s festival was the Belarusian journalist, essayist, and oral historian, 2015 Nobel laureate in literature Svetlana Alexievich.
Slovakia presented almost thirty new Hungarian translations of Slovak literature. Most of these were books of contemporary literature, esp. of fiction and poetry. Other genres included such volumes as the book of reportages by Tomáš Forró Donbas, historiographical volume by Roman Holec, or Jozef Tancer’s book from the field of linguistics.
The Slovak part of the programme was prepared by the civic organisation BÁZIS and consisted of book presentations, discussions of contemporary literature and cultural transfer, and Hungarian literature written in Slovakia.
The preparation of the programme was also aided by the literary scholars from the SAS. The director of the Institute of World Literature, Judit Görözdi held the opening speech of the Slovak part of the programme in which she stressed the unique opportunity literature has for opening a culture to otherness and – also under the light of the Russo-Ukrainian war – literature’s potential for inciting dialogue. Special issues of Hungarian magazines Jelenkor, Tiszatáj, and Kalligram edited by Radoslav Passia and Viliam Nádaskay from the Institute of Slovak Literature presented selections of contemporary Slovak literature. Radoslav Passia and Viliam Nádaskay also took part in the panel discussion on making Central European literature available to international readers through literary magazines. In the discussion on subsidising literature and translation, Radoslav Passia spoke about support for translators and publishers of Slovak literature in translation and the director of the Institute of Slovak Literature, Ivana Taranenková outlined current developments in Slovak literature in the panel discussion on Central European cultures. Judit Görözdi presented literary scholarship in Slovak-Hungarian and Hungarian-Slovak literary transfer and, together with the comparative literature scholar Magdolna Balogh from the Institute for Literary Studies of Hungarian Academy of Sciences presented selected books as outcomes of the cooperation between the two institutes.