CONRAD FESTIVAL – Krakow, 22-28 October, 2012

2012 PROGRAMME   |   Past Editions

The motto of this year’s edition of the Festival, Think: Literature!, has many meanings. One refers us back to the experience we have persistently sought to associate with literature since the very first edition of the Festival: the experience of literature as an encouraging reflection on the world, its problems, and on ourselves; literature is not just light entertainment, but also an invitation to distance ourselves from the charging world, from opaque reality, from trivialities and clichés that surround us on all sides. The motto’s other meaning is equally important: it is difficult not to marvel at the fact that in a world dominated by haste and superficial information, literature – the art of fiction and hope – still exists and continues to provoke conversation. Literature gives us multiple pleasures, including the pleasure of thinking and discussing, which is attested to by the long hours our guests spend talking to large audiences in Krakow every year. This year, we have invited personalities from different areas of culture, each known for their explicit views not just on art, but also on contemporary reality. Zygmunt Bauman, Orhan Pamuk, Jeanette Winterson, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Peter Eszterhazy, Robert D. Kaplan, Dubravka Ugrešić are all artists whose voices are heard all around the world. They will be accompanied by the best and the most influential among contemporary Polish writers, including: Marek Bieńczyk, Eustachy Rylski, Krzysztof Varga, Andrzej Stasiuk, Dorota Masłowska, Wojciech Jagielski, Magdalena Tulli, and Michał Witkowski. Think: literature still exists, still provokes reflection, still serves as an alternative to the world in which we would rather not live, and still opens broader horizons than those we have come to know.
Michał Paweł Markowski

Orhan Pamuk

Place Auditorium Maximum Jagiellonian University, Krupnicza 33 Street
Time 20:00
Description Other colours. A meeting with Orhan PamukHosted by: Grzegorz JankowiczTranslation:
English, simultaneously
Magdalena Skoć and Piotr Krasnowolski

free entry, registration closed


The Conrad Festival is a large-scale project by the City of Krakow, “Tygodnik Powszechny” foundation, Krakow Festival Office and a number of institutions and supporters. 

Why Joseph Conrad?

The Conrad Festival is not devoted to the creative works of Joseph Conrad! The author of Heart of Darkness lends his name as patron of the World Literature Feast. It has to be said that not many Polish writers have so far achieved such widespread international success while creating in a foreign language. The son of a Polish writer, Apollo Korzeniowski, chose the English language as his own and gained fame for his original style and as a witness to his period in history. As he professed, he could write in English and no other, as it was his sea experiences aboard British ships, across a number of continents, that made him a writer. It was from Krakow that the young Konrad Korzeniowski set out in 1873 on his sea voyage and now, years later he is returning as patron of international literature.

International Literature Feast

In contrast to many national events which grace Polish literature, the Conrad Festival is designed as a world scale event. This means that the guests will include writers from various countries who write in different languages, represent diverse cultures and world views. The organizers want to create in Krakow a multi-colour artistic mosaic, which will reflect the riches of world literature, exposing the Polish reader to little known ways of thinking and sensitivities. The prevailing idea is to create an event which would have the widest range and one which is widely recognised throughout the world.


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