The 36th Salon du Livre, an international book fair, took place in Paris on March 17th-20th. Under the title Enjoy the book! (Vivez le livre!) it once again confirmed that the book is, in fact, the true queen of the metropolis on the Seine. It was as if during the four days, all bowed before the book. Her majesty the Book was able to bring together almost a thousand exhibitors and three thousand authors. Flocking daily to the Porte de Versailles exhibition site, crowds of visitors were able to enjoy the book fete despite the ever-increasing safety measures. The French do know how to enjoy books, just like they enjoy life.
The Slovakia stand, prepared by Literárne informačné centrum (LIC – The Centre for Information on Literature), provided the visitors with an opportunity to see three hundred new releases from more than two dozen Slovak publishers. As usual, they were interested in tourist guides, but also the history of Slovakia and children’s books. In the context of the Slovak EU presidency, students were mainly interested in publications concerning the current Slovak history. Our stand was visited by several translators, publishers and authors currently living in Paris, specifically Viktória Laurent-Škrabalová, the author of the book Lapinovci z letiska (Trio Publishing, 2015, transl. as The Lapins from the Airport), who also brought her bilingual book of poems La silence d’une tempête / Ticho búrky (Editions du Cygne, 2015, transl. as The Silence of the Storm). Another key personality, Virginie Symaniec from the Le Ver à Sole publishing house, keeps on spreading contemporary Slovak literature among the ranks of French readers, having published Jana Beňová’s book Café Hyena in the past year. The director of the Slovak Institute in Paris, Dan Jurkovič, also visited the Slovak literary exhibition and received the literary gift given to the Institute by The Centre for Information on Literature.
In the photographs:
Miroslava Vallová, the director of The Centre for Information on Literature;
Martin Solotruk; Guy Goffette; Michel de Maulne; Andrea Bučko
During the book fair, the Permanent Delegation of Slovakia to UNESCO and the Slovak Institute in Paris organized a meeting of a Slovak and a Belgian poet, all in the context of the International Francophonie Day. Therefore, on Thursday March 17th, Martin Solotruk met with Guy Goffet, a Belgian poet, on the UNESCO soil for an afternoon poetry event. The poems of Martin Solotruk had been translated by Kristyna Matysová and Aurélie Rouget-Garma and published at the beginning of March by the publishing house of Bruno Doucey as a part of the Versopolis project, and they were read by Michel de Maulne. The event was hosted by Miroslava Vallyová, the director of LIC. Guy Goffette, a poet and a publisher, lead the audience with vigor into the specifics of the contemporary Slovak poetry and he, himself, read some poems from E. J. Groch, D. Podracká and J. Mihalkovič from a forthcoming anthology of Slovak poetry published in the French language. A nice addition to the program was provided by the singer and pianist Andrea Bučko. Guy Goffette‘s excitement for Slovak poetry leapt onto the listeners, so that even after the event was over, a lively discussion went on. Andrea Salajová, a Slovak author with her last year’s debut novel Eastern published by Gallimard, was also among the participants.
Martin Solotruk, fer de lance de la nouvelle poèsie slovaque
Prezentácia súčasnej slovenskej poézie v UNESCO