Sunday 20 June at 4.00 p.m.
Venue: Stevenson Room, British Museum
Clockwise from top left: George Szirtes (photo: Clarissa Upchurch), Michael Hofmann (photo: Nina Subin), Tomáš Zmeškal, Stephen Vizinczey
Throughout the 20th century, the countries that once made
up the Austro-Hungarian Empire produced many of
Europe’s greatest and most influential writers. Twenty
years after the Berlin Wall came down, is the idea of a
central European region a useful one and what does it
mean to today’s writers? Do these countries still have a
common culture and indeed did they ever?
Penguin have just republished ten important works from
Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austria and the Czech Republic,
encompassing memoir, essays, novels, philosophy and
short stories. Four of these will form the basis of this
discussion by writers of a later generation: Michael
Hofmann on Thomas Bernhard’s Old Masters, George
Szirtes on Gyula Krúdy’s Life Is a Dream, Stephen
Vizinczey on György Faludy’s My Happy Days in Hell and
Tomáš Zmeškal on Josef Škvorecký's The Cowards. The discussion will be chaired by Simon Winder, the series' editor.
Supported by the Czech Centre, London www.czechcentre.org.uk
Part of the London Review Bookshop’s
World Literature Weekend