„Ahoj“ in Leipzig!
The typical Czech greeting - "ahoj" - will be the leitmotif of Czech Republic's presentation at the book fair in Leipzig, where our country will be the main guest next year.
"Whenever somebody picked up the microphone at the Czech stand in Leipzig, he or she simply said, 'ahoj'. This gave us the idea to use this greeting as the main catchphrase of our entire programme at this exceptional event," says the commissioner of the Czech participation Martin Krafl. As this will be one of the most important foreign presentations of Czech literature in recent years, the organisers are leaving nothing to chance and things are already planned to the last detail.
"Our guest participation in the book fair will be the climax of an entire Czech Year, which commences in Frankfurt on 11 October 2018 and then moves to Leipzig. Many other events will be held on top of our participation in the book fair," Martin Krafl explained, showing an extensive programme of Czech literary presentations along with the names of guests, which include Tomáš Halík or Pavel Kohout. "We are offering an interesting accompanying programme and numerous exhibitions. The German National Library, for example, will host a display of Czech avant-garde typography. We also want to introduce contemporary Czech illustrators. In Germany most people associate Czech illustration with Zdeněk Miller and his Little Mole, and we want to show that we have many more authors in this field," added Martin Krafl.
"We are also preparing an Opera Ball featuring Dagmar Pecková, Karel Gott and Marta Jandová. We will be showing films by Jiří Menzel and play Bedřich Smetana's music. Literature will be used to showcase various forms of our culture and the silver thread running through all our events will be the 30th anniversary of the fall of the iron curtain," Martin Krafl said. The Czech participation in the book fair was also acknowledged by the director of the Leipzig fair Oliver Zille, who emphasised the longstanding co-operation with Book World Prague. His concluding words were symbolic: "Ahoj in Leipzig!"