A Szlovák PEN Központ világkönyvtára
A Szlovák PEN Klub kezdeményezésére 2003-ban (2004?) a pozsonyi Komenský Egyetem Bölcsészkarának könyvtára részére hazai kiadóinktól is kértek ajándék-kiadványokat. Bár a szervezet hivatalos weboldalán nem találtunk utalást az adományozásra, megtaláltuk az akkor készült videó egy részét, ami az ajándékozást bizonyítja. A felvétel készítője Haraszti Mária, aki az AB-ART művészeti igazgatójaként vett részt az ünnepségen. A háttérben felhangzó magyar mondat Csanda Gáboré, aki az ajándékozás egyik szervezője volt.
Celosvetová PEN knižnica bola založená 22.2.2002 na podnet vtedajšieho predsedu SC PEN Gustáva Murína v spolupráci s Filozofickou fakultou UK v Bratislave. Jej poslaním je získavať knihy v pôvodných jazykoch autorov z celého sveta pre študentov, či iných záujemcov o cudzokrajné jazyky a literatúru. Vďaka veľkej obetavosti najmä riaditeľky Ústrednej knižnice FiF UK PhDr. Daniely Gondovej sa do roku 2004 knižničný fond tejto unikátnej knižnice rozrástol na 2 000 titulov zahraničných autorov zo všetkých kontinentov.
Tieto vysoké ciele sme dosiahli vďaka širokej podpore našich kolegov, PEN centier a ďalších organizácií. Už za prvé dva roky sme nadviazali spoluprácu s PEN Centrami:
Americkým, Bulharským, Českým, Cyperským, Maďarským, Japonským, Poľským, Rakú-skym, Škótskym, Slovinským, Švédskym, Švajčiarsko-talianskym a retrománskym, Švajčiar-sko-nemeckým, a individuálnymi darcami z Centier z Bangladéša, Nórska či Litvy.
Ako významných donátorov môžeme zmieniť tiež nasledujúce zastupiteľské úrady a ich kultúrne inštitúty v Bratislave:
Veľvyslanectvo Českej republiky, Japonska, Španielska, Švajčiarska, USA, Bulharské kul-túrne a informačné centrum, České centrum, Japonské spoločenstvo na Slovensku, Poľský inštitút, Ruský dom kultúry a vedy.
Ďalšími knižnými darmi prispeli tieto inštitúcie a vydavateľstvá:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (New York, USA); Ferrar, Straus & Giroux, INC. Book Publishers (New York, USA); Houghton Mifflin Co. (Boston, USA); HarperCollins Publishers (New York, USA); Random House (New York, USA); Abovo forlag (Koppang, Nórsko); The Pen-guin Group (London), Asociácia organizácií spisovateľov Slovenska, vydavateľstvo Mladé letá (Bratislava), Revue svetovej literatúry (Bratislava), vydavateľstvo SLOVART a ďalší.
Celosvetovú PEN knižnicu tiež osobne navštívili a obdarovali títo spisovatelia:
Takeaki Hori (Japonsko), Prof. Andrew Wachtel (USA), Prof. Robert M. Davis (USA), Prof. Ronald Schleifer (USA), Prof. Christopher Merill (USA), Eugene Schoulgin (Nórsko), Pavel Verner (Česká republika), Alex Koenigsmark (Česká republika) , Iva Pekárková (Česká re-publika), László Kúnos (Maďarsko), Helmuth Niederle (Rakúsko), Helmuth Stefan Milletich (Rakúsko), Zoltán Sumonyi-Papp (Maďarsko), István Kristó Nagy (Maďarsko), Katarzyną Boruń-Jagodzińska (Poľsko), Krzysztof Dorosz (Poľsko), Kristin Dimitrova (Bulharsko), Vat-jo Rakovski (Bulharsko) and Gueorgui Konstantinov (Bulharsko).
Súčasné postavenie Knižnice
Vďaka všetkým uvedeným darom ponúka knižnica viac ako 2000 titulov z 53 krajín:
Argentína, Austrália, Bangladéš, Bielorusko, Bosna, Brazília, Bulharsko, Kanada, Chorvátsko, Cyprus, Česká republika, Dánsko, Estónsko, Etiópia, Francúzsko, Nemecko, Grécko. India, Izrael, Taliansko, Japonsko, Kórea, Lotyšsko, Litva, Macedónsko, Mexiko, Nepál, Nórsko, Pakistan, Poľsko, Portugalsko, Rumunsko, Rusko, Srbsko, Slovensko, Slovinsko, Španielsko, Južná Kórea, Švédsko, Švajčiarsko, Tajvan, Turecko, Veľká Británia, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, Juhoslávia a iných.
Takýto jedinečný súbor kníh by ťažko existoval bez Celosvetovej PEN knižnice, keďže štátne či súkromné kultúrne inštitúcie si nemôžu dovoliť pravidelný prísun zahraničných kníh vzhľadom k vysokým cenám ako aj nákladom na ich dopravu.
V roku 2006 bola táto knižnica premiestnená do novorekonštruovaných priestorov Univerzitnej knižnice, kde je k dispozícii čitateľom dodnes.
Global PEN Library
Global PEN Library was established on February 22nd 2001 as an initiative of that time President of Slovak PEN Centre, Gustáv Murín. The aim of the Library is to collect books in original languages from authors of all over the world. These books serve primarily to the students of foreign languages and literature at Comenius University; nevertheless library is open to everybody who would like to read contemporary authors in their own languages.
These high goals can be achieved only thanks to broad support of our colleagues from the P.E.N. Centres, Embassies and their cultural institutes in Bratislava, foreign and domestic publishing houses and other cultural organizations and individual donators. We are very thankful that we were able to find enthusiastic personalities abroad who support the idea of Global P.E.N. Library. Among our PEN colleagues it is particularly Franca Tiberto, President of Swiss-Italian and Retro-Romansh PEN Centre. Generous support by series of donations was organized in New York by Mrs. Barbarelee Diamonstein – Spielvogel, an honorary member of Slovak PEN Centre, in cooperation with largest and most respected publishing houses in USA as well as in UK. In Bratislava we found extraordinary understanding and support from Mr. Gregory Orr from US-Embassy, Mr. Hans-Peter Schöni from Embassy of Switzerland, Mr. Toshihiro Araki from Japan Embassy with Mr. Takumi Mimaki from Japan Association in Slovakia, Mr. Ádám Szesztay from Hungarian Embassy and Mr. Gábor Csanda from Society of Hungarian authors in Slovakia in Bratislava.
Following international writers with their donations also personally visited global PEN Library:
Takeaki Hori (Japan), Prof. Andrew Wachtel (USA), Prof. Robert M. Davis (USA), Prof. Ronald Schleifer (USA), Prof. Christopher Merill (USA), Eugene Schoulgin (Norway), Pavel Verner (Czech Republic), Alex Koenigsmark (Czech Republic), Iva Pekárková (Czech Republic), László Kúnos (Hungary), Helmuth Niederle (Austria), Helmuth Stefan Milletich (Austria), Zoltán Sumonyi-Papp (Hungary), István Kristó Nagy (Hungary), Katarzyną Boruń-Jagodzińska (Poland), Krzysztof Dorosz (Poland), Kristin Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Vatjo Rakovski (Bulgaria), Gueorgui Konstantinov (Bulgaria), Kerry S. Keys (USA), Sonata Palyulite (Litva), Immanuel Mifsud (Malta), Boiko Lambovski (Bulgaria), Violeta Christova (Bulgaria), Nicolas Ancion (Belgium), Aleksandar Gatalica (Serbia), Anna Szabó (Hungary), György Dragomán (Hungary), Branko Senegačnik (Slovenia), Julius Keleras (Lithuania), Vaida Keleriene (Lithuania), Polona Glavan (Slovenia), Claudia Anthony (Germany/Sierra Leone), Robert Dorsman (The Netherlands), Jiří Stránský (Czech Republic), Alexandra Berková (Czech Republic), Zdenka Becker (Austria), Terry Carlbom (Sweden), János Benyhe (Hungary), Jerzy Kronhold (Poland), Marian Grzesczak (Poland), Jukka Mallinen (Finland), Franca Tiberto (Switzerland), János Oláh (Hungary), Jiří Gruša (Czech Republic), Vladimír Karfík (Czech Republic), Daniela Fischerová (Czech Republic), Prof. Helena Haškovcová (Czech Republic), Miroslav Huptych (Czech Republic), Tomáš Janovic, Anton Hykisch, Ján Čomaj, Ireney Baláž, Juraj Kuniak, Rút Lichnerová, Gustáv Murín and others from Slovak PEN Centre.
Current status of Library
Thanks to all donations mentioned above the Global P.E.N. Library had received until now more than 2000 titles from 53 countries, such as: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom (England + Scotland), USA, Venezuela, Vietnam. As books are recorded according to the place of printing and publishing you may find in our database also books from former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
This unique collection of books could hardly come into existence without Global P.E.N. Library because price of books from abroad and their transport is too expensive for any state or private cultural institute in Slovakia.
Library was till 2006 situated in main hall of Central Library of Philosophical Faculty of the Comenius University, the oldest and largest University in Slovakia. Now it is in newly renovated main University Library in Bratislava.
Global PEN Library is always open for new donations and our readers are looking forward to read new books. This donations are easier by shipping via diplomatic mail if their countries have diplomatic missions in Slovak Republic, as it was the case of several PEN Centres. Individual donors may use help of their publishers or sent their books directly. However, it is not wise to send it to Slovak PEN Centre address as only Global PEN Library has permission to obtain books from abroad without taxes. The proper direct address for donations will be posted here soon.
First three years of History of Global PEN Library were full of activities:
At the occasion of 1st Anniversary of Global PEN Library on February 22nd 2002 we were proud to receive donations from Austrian PEN Centre, Bulgarian Cultural Centre, Hungarian PEN Centre, Vietnam PEN Centre in Exile, Embassy of Romania, Embassy of Spain, AOSS and Revue svetovej literatúry journal. For the first time this specially important celebration for Slovak PEN Centre was supported personally by delegations of Hungarian and Austrian PEN Centres.
During the first year of existence we succeed to organize several readings and visits of foreign guests. Response from media and readers had proved that this is the best promotion of authors, their books and whole project of Global PEN Library itself. Our first guest was Mr. Takeaki Hori from Japan PEN Centre on July 11st who introduced to the Board of Slovak PEN Centre the role of his Centre in the region and his visions for improvement of activities of PEN International. On September 10th Prof. Robert M. Davis from Oklahoma, USA, visited Library and had a reading of his poetry from books he donated in Apponyi Café in the center of Bratislava. Especially close friends and colleagues we have in the Slovak-Czech Club in Prague. Mrs. Naďa Vokušová and Mr. Vladimír Skalský visited us with donation of books they published on November 10th 2001. Prof. Andrew Wachtel is a specialist for Slavic literature at the Northwestern University in Chicago and his visit on December 2nd – 4th 2001 was therefore great support to us. Our last visitor in 2001 was by Prof. Ronald Schleifer on December 5th – 10th. During his stay he lectured not only for PEN members, but also for students of Academy of Arts in Bratislava, University of Konstantin Philosopher in Nitra and University of Žilina.
Thanks to all these activities the Global PEN Library has strengthened its importance as bridge between Slovak and world literary community. It also fulfilled the wishes addressed to this project and its organizers by Mr. Terry Carlbom, International Secretary of PEN International, at the opening ceremony previous year:
“International PEN has for 80 years been associated with promoting literature and defending freedom to write. Many of our 129 Member Centres have initiated various community projects, aimed at enhancing the appreciation of literature. I have, though, not heard of an initiative quite like this. It is imaginative, it has global ambitions and it aims to form a network reflecting all kinds of creative endeavors. This must truly be in the universalistic spirit of Ján Amos Komenský. I am fully aware that our support might well be but a symbolic fragment of a contribution, within our humble abilities, but it is still an attempt to make a contribution to the „college of light“ of which Komenský dreamt.
I am sure many will recall the dreams of Komenský (Comenius) today. His peripatetic contributions to European culture are now part of our common humanist heritage. They are mirrored in many of our contemporary ambitions in the promotions of education, literacy and protection of the written word. These are built on the conviction that to flourish, human imagination must be free. It thrives through being cultivated – but by dialogue, and not be decree.
International PEN is proud to be associated with this inspiring project within the Comenius University. Our thank go to our friends the Slovak PEN Centre, and our colleagues at this famous University. On behalf of our Members all over the word, I wish it all success.”
On February 21st 2003 we were celebrating 2nd Anniversary of Global PEN Library by donation of books thanks to Japan Embassy and Japan Association in Slovakia as main donators. Also Bulgarian PEN Centre, Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Polish Institute, Swiss-German PEN Centre, US-Embassy and Slovart Publishing House contributed. The special recognition of this project was donation of books by President of Slovak Republic Rudolf Schuster who personally signed the books. Our guests were members of Bulgarian PEN Centre led by its President Mr. Gueorgui Konstantinov. Day before they were reading from their books for Global PEN Library in the Writers Club.
Main donation of books from Japan is an excellent example of our co-operation with the Embassy of Japan and Japanese Association in Slovakia. It is based on the idea that foreign citizens, who live in Slovakia for years, would like to share also their private books, but they need some professional mediator. The Global PEN Library is such mediator where particular national community will donate books of its members and they can use it back for their individual reading. This way the foreign citizens do not lose contact with contemporary as well as classic literature of their country.
Another novelty that appear in second year of existence of Library was summer campaign that led to main donation of more than 140 books thanks to Swiss Embassy and Pro-Helvetia Fund. Ceremonial donation on June 17th was enlarged by books obtained from Embassies of Czech Republic, Romania and United States, Centre for Information on Literature (Bratislava) and Slovart Publishing House.
This novelty was followed by our first autumn campaign crowned by international conference Visegrad literary forum from November 8th till 10th in Budmerice castle. For the first time in the history of Slovak PEN Centre we were hosting our colleagues from all Visegrad countries and Austria. Official part of this extraordinary meeting was discussion about equalization of condition for creative work in unifying Europe that led to open letter to Mr. Romano Prodi, President of European Commission and this letter was received with acknowledgement. To show the capacity of creative work of our guests we were able to organize unique literary event on the same day, November 8th, when all P.E.N. delegations had reading in their cultural institutes: writers and poets together with their Slovak colleagues in Austrian Forum (H. Niederle, H. Milletich, M. Hatala and M. Richter), Hungarian cultural institute (I. Kristó Nagy and J. Benyhe + A. Baláž and A. Hykisch) and Polish Institute (K. Boruń-Jagodzińska and K. Dorosz, presented by G. Murín). Czech and Slovak writers read together in Galery F7 (A. Koenigsmark, J. Pekárková and J. Verner + I. Baláž and G. Murín).
After all these activities we accept with satisfaction the words by Homero Aridjis, current President of PEN International to the organizers from Slovak PEN Centre and guests of ceremony for 2nd Anniversary of Global PEN Library:
“In this age of galloping globalization, what better response from writers than a global library, and what better place than the Comenius University in Bratislava? It’s a pity that Jorge Luis Borges is dead, because he would have been the ideal librarian for this polyglot library. I hope that the Global PEN Library which today celebrates its anniversary can serve as an inspiration to other PEN Centers elsewhere in the world by begetting similar libraries in many countries, and I ask my fellow PEN members to join me in enriching its collection. My books are on their way to you. Congratulations to Slovak PEN for undertaking this marvelous enterprise.”
The Third Anniversary of Global PEN Library was significantly marked by project financially supported by International Visegrad Fund, Ministry of culture of Slovak Republic, UNESCO and other sponsors and donators. This project started in May 2003 and lasted till April 2004 with two main campaigns – autumn 2003 and spring 2004.
During autumn campaign Slovak PEN Centre organized three public readings and three international conferences. The main idea was to give opportunity to participants of these events to present books they wished to donate to Global PEN Library also for the public. Therefore the biggest reading of autumn campaign 2003 had symbolical title “I am bringing my book to you”.
First visitors of the Library in this campaign were American poet Kerry S. Keys and Lithuanian poet Sonata Palyulite. On September, 4th, they had reading in “Black Crow Club” in the old city of Bratislava and the next day donated books to Library. Particularly notable is that Kerry S. Keys donated his book of poetry translated into Czech language and published in Votobia Publishing House, Olomouc.
The first of three planned international conferences of autumn campaign 2003 was organized in Bratislava and Budmerice Castle from October, 30th till November, 2nd under the title „Young Writers and Poets for the equalization of the creative environment throughout Europe” and sponsored mainly by UNESCO. Participants were from Belgium (Nicolas Ancion), Bulgaria (Boiko Lambovski and Violeta Christova), Czech Republic (Pavel Verner), The Netherlands (Robert Dorsman), Lithuania (Julius Keleras and Vaida Keleriene), Hungary (Anna Szabó and György Dragomán), Malta (Immanuel Mifsud), Germany (Claudia Anthony), Serbia (Aleksandar Gatalica), Slovakia (Marián Grupač, Anton Baláž, Anton Hykisch, Peter Kerlik, František Palonder and Gustáv Murín) and Slovenia (Branko Senegačnik and Polona Glavan). These young writers and poets discussed important issues of young literature in unifying Europe. They visited Global PEN Library, donated their books and had reading in Galery F7 in the old city of Bratislava. Reading was connected with opening of exhibition of photos of Vaida Keleriene with title “Vilnius – city without make-up”.
Main event of autumn campaign 2003 was the 2nd Visegrad Literary Forum from November, 13th till 15th. In presence of Mr. Terry Carlbom, International Secretary of PEN International, participants visited Library and donated their books that were presented to large audience at International BookFair Bibliotéka in Bratislava. At this reading, co-organized with Centre for Information on Literature, presented their books: Jiří Stránský (President of Czech PEN Centre), Alexandra Berková (Czech PEN Centre), Zdenka Becker (Austrian PEN Centre), Alex Koenigsmark (Czech PEN Centre), Tomáš Janovic (Slovak PEN Centre) and Rút Lichnerová (Slovak PEN Centre). Reading was moderated by Gustáv Murín (Slovak PEN Centre).
At the same time Slovak PEN Centre co-operated as organizer with Slovak-Czech Club at project “Central Europeans in Central Europe” with participation of writers and literates from Visegrad countries at the international conference focused on writing and life of Alexander Márai. Therefore particularly important was active presence of János Benyhe (Secretary of Hungarian PEN Centre), István Vörösz (Hungary) and prof. Péter Medész (Hungary) who responded to our invitation. Opening of event was in presence of Czech, Polish and Hungarian Consuls. On final day of two day conference (November 14th – 15th) in city of Košice (living place of A. Márai) Mr. Gustáv Murín, President of Slovak PEN Centre, accepted donation of books for Global PEN Library.
The main event of the spring campaign 2004 will be the four-days international conference (from March 22nd till 25th). Program is based on two round-tables in Budmerice Castle („Writer and power“ and „Library as last stronghold of literature?“), meeting of delegates with President of Slovak Republic, visit to the International House of Children Bibiana with exhibition of Ivan Popovič (member of Slovak PEN Centre), reception at residency of US-Embassy with speech of Prof. Robert M. Davis and ceremonial donation of books in Global PEN Library in presence of Minister of culture of Slovak Republic Mr. Rudolf Chmel and Minister of foreign affairs of Slovak Republic Mr. Eduard Kukan. Thanks to Hungarian Embassy in Bratislava, Society of Hungarian authors in Slovakia and Hungarian publishing houses in Hungary and Slovakia the main donation will form the books of Hungarian authors. Significant donation is expected also from Japan Embassy in co-operation with Japanese Association in Slovakia and other donators as: Belgian Embassy, Embassy of India, Italian Cultural Institute, Bulgarian Cultural and Information Centre, Slovenian Embassy, Austrian PEN Centre, Bosnian PEN Centre, Bulgarian PEN Centre, Cyprus PEN Centre, Czech PEN Centre, Finnish PEN Centre, Hungarian PEN Centre, Japanese PEN Centre, Macedonian PEN Centre, Portugal PEN Centre, Romanian PEN Centre, Swedish PEN Centre, Swiss-Italian and Retro-Romansh PEN Centre, Slovene PEN Centre and other guests.
Thanks to financial support of International Visegrad Fund during both campaigns (autumn 2003 and spring 2004) books of authors from Visegrad countries become hard-core of Global PEN Library.
All this is particularly reflected in speech of Jiří Gruša, President of PEN International, written for this occasion:
“Dear colleagues and friends,
The International PEN is an organization of writers, which are ready to stay for freedom of expression and against every kind of nationalism. The members gathered in International P.E.N. pursue writing as an art, and are ready to assume all the needed risks. One of our important missions is to unit the diversity of languages because they are forming the basic of our international standing.
I was elected in Mexico to President of this organization and my first sentences after the elections have been: The 21st century is more than a turning point in the calendar. The conditions of our existence have changed from the ground up. The spread of the new technologies has made mankind richer and more uncertain at one and the same time. Heredity no longer guarantees the future. The past as description and literature is told in a different fashion and has even begun to disappear. Salvage efforts are becoming risk-taking tests. The global web does not only connect; it creates holes in the net and new fears, both among individuals and the masses.
I would like to mention the project ´Global PEN Library´, which is important for the work of PEN. It has 2000 books in original languages and many authors from more than 53 countries. This is a great sign!
We have to go against getting speechless. Our opinion has to be, that words don’t become the nomenclature of silence, or the prophetic slogans of hate.”