Newsletter Archive

 

Amsterdam, June 2010, Number 27


Editors: Vera Ebels, Christina Zorich

CONTENTS

Review: Jan Paul Hinrichs, Lemberg – Lwów – Lviv. The Fateful City

Ukrainian Books for Education in Tolerance 2008 - 2011

Romanian Books in Print catalogue Infocarte

Grants
Books Recently Published

Funding


“Like cherries in the trees” - a city without people: Jan Paul Hinrichs, Lemberg – Lwów – Lviv. The Fateful City

“Wherever one looks, children. Children in yards, children with animals, children in the fields, children in barns, children in stables, children, as if they grow like cherries in the trees each spring.” This is the description by the Jewish Hollywood actor and writer Alexander Granach (1890-1945) of Galicia, the territory around the Ukrainian city known today as Lviv, where he was born.

His memoir Da geht ein Mensch was published the year he died, in 1945. And we know now, just as he did then, that by that time all the children from Granach’s youth were dead or gone. Between 1939 and 1946, eighty percent of the population of Lviv had been killed or expelled, while the houses, streets, and squares remained intact.

The city at the very eastern edge of the West can stand as a symbol of the devastating storm that hit Europe in the twentieth century. A Habsburg city in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (Lemberg), a Polish city (Lwów), a Ukrainian city under the Soviet regime, an occupied city under the Nazis and again under the Soviet Union, and now a city in independent Ukraine, Lviv has been through almost every mill.

The Dutch Slavist Jan Paul Hinrichs has written an exemplary, concise history of the city, published in Amsterdam by Bas Lubberhuizen. He took as his guiding principle the life and work of ten authors, who wrote about this city, left it, and yearned for it. Among them renowned writers such as Zbigniew Herbert, Joseph Roth and Alfred Döblin, but also lesser -known ones like Bohdan-Ihor Antonych and Aleksander Wat.

Around 1910, Lemberg seemed a example of a multicultural, multi-religious city. The three large groups, Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians, lived side by side and built their churches and synagogues. Lemberg was an important cultural centre, with a Yiddish theatre, Jugendstil buildings, and modern utilities such as an electricity plant. In 1918, when Austria-Hungary fell apart, the Poles and Ukrainians found each other in their common hatred of the Jews, which culminated in the first pogroms.

While Joseph Roth could still see Russia as the greatest threat to the relatively democratic, colourful city, this perspective proved to be too simple; and in the end, the public massacres awaiting Lwów defied every description.

In 1939, the Jewish-Polish Aleksander Wat escaped from Cracow to Lwów, was taken prisoner by the Soviets, only to survive his deportation to Kazakhstan as a Soviet prisoner. He seemed to unite the many contradictory facets of Lwów, which made him a life-long target of accusations of collaboration.

The Shoah was a particularly cruel and public affair in Lwów. Half a million Galician Jews were murdered, partly in a camp near Lwów, partly in daily massacres on the streets and squares of Lwów. Thousands of Jews, sometime whole families, committed suicide. David Kahane and Simon Wiesenthal described how the Shoah, in surrealistic scenes, intertwined with normal everyday city life.

After 1946, when, with much bloodshed, the Poles were driven out of the city by the Soviets, writers like Zbigniew Herbert and Adam Zagajevski saw Lwów as an abstract city, a dream, “a promenade of shadows”, in the words of Józef Wittlin.

It was not until after the independence of Ukraine in 1991 that a group of new writers shed the nostalgia. In the surprising chapter about Jurij Andruhovych, we read how this post-modernist writer restored to the limelight a l’art pour l’art author from the 1930’s, the prematurely deceased young poète maudit Antonych.

The book has been published with CEEBP’s support in Ukrainian translation. It is extraordinary that the history of Galicia should be brought back, via a U-turn by a Dutch publishing house, to its place of origin and destination. The fate of the Jewish inhabitants of Lemberg - Lwów, of which too little is still known in Poland and Ukraine, especially deserves attention. Many antique cabinets, pianos, and furniture in the houses of Lviv are tied to stories which the current owners do not wish to or cannot know. With great erudition and empathy, Hinrichs has unveiled and given back to the city its turbulent history.

By Maria Vlaar


Ukrainian Books for Education in Tolerance 2008 - 2011

Three new publications, to be used within the framework of the Ukrainian Books for Education in Tolerance Project in seminars in the capital cities of all twenty-five provinces of the country, were issued between January and June 2010.

Omer Bartov, Erased. Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine, translated from English into Ukrainian by Sergii Kolomiiets, Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies & Zovnyshtorgvydav Ukrainy, Kiev 2010

Jan Paul Hinrichs, Lemberg-Lwów-Lviv. The Fateful City, translated from Dutch into Ukrainian by Jaroslav Dovhopoly, Wydawnictwo Zhupanskogo, Kiev 2010

A. Lenchovska, K. Kreiderman, M. Grinberg (Congress of National Minorities), “Polykulturika” - How to Organize Intercultural Tolerance Education during School and Extra-Curricular Activities. Manual for teachers and school principals (in the Ukrainian language), Maisternya knigi, Kiev 2010

Seventeen earlier titles were launched in April 2009 (see CEEBP Newsletter June 2009) and another seven titles are forthcoming.

CEEBP is coordinating the project together with the Anne Frank House, in cooperation with local Ukrainian partners and with the support of the Matra program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Seminars for history teachers, students of education and journalism, school administrators, librarians, and journalists have already taken place in Charkov, Dniepropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherkassy, Chernigov, Crimea (Yalta), Kherson, Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Poltava, Sumy and Uzhorod.


Romanian Books in Print catalogue Infocarte

  

On 30 March 2010, at a well-attended press conference at the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) in Bucharest, ICR director Horia-Roman Patapievici launched the Romanian Books in Print catalogue, Infocarte, Catalogul Cărţilor Disponibile în România (www.infocarte.ro).

The catalogue was developed at the request of the Romanian Publishers’ Association (AER),  joined by the Romanian Publishers Union (UER) in the Federation of Romanian Publishers (FER), drawing on CEEBP expertise, the advice of its Serbian and Dutch partners, and cooperation with the National Book Centre at the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Until Infocarte, there was no way of knowing what books were available on the Romanian market. One had to trawl through scores of online bookshops and publishers’ websites, a very laborious and time-consuming exercise. The National Library catalogue, very good in itself, naturally does not contain information about either the availability of a title or its price - this is information unique to Books in Print catalogues. And because many publishers send their deposit copies to the National Library with some delay, and the understaffed library needs additional time to process the data, the new books appear in its catalogue months after the publication date.

Infocarte is designed to be of use to book trade professionals – publishers, booksellers, wholesalers, book exporters and importers – as well as librarians, journalists, teachers, students, and the public.

It now contains records of more than 4,000 authors, more than half with biographies, almost 350 book editors, over 1,500 translators, more than 5,000 book titles, most with a concise summary, and more than 600 links to reviews, with a heading, short lead, source and date. The reviews are also listed by date on a separate Reviews page. News from the book trade, Romanian and foreign, currently lists 250 news items with links to the sources.

Each book title has its page on Infocarte, with an overview of editions including the ISBN, publishing house, and year of the edition, mostly with a summary. Each edition on the list is linked to a web page with its further details, such as its place of publication, binding, number of pages, format, availability, retail price, category / subject, keywords, and, if available, annotated links to reviews.

Similarly, each author has his page on the website, with an overview of their books published in Romania, and – besides a biography – annotated links to interviews or press articles. Likewise, each publishing house has its own page, with contact details and a list of its books, each linked to its own page as well as to the author’s page.

The website currently includes editions by 120 publishers, contact details of some 225 publishing houses, 350 bookshops, 22 online bookshops, 6 antiquarians, 80 wholesalers, 12 importers (some of whom are also exporters), and 70 public libraries.

The Useful Links page comprises Romanian literary agencies, publishers’ and booksellers’ associations, book-related cultural and public institutions, book fairs, literary festivals, and literary magazines.

A weekly Newsletter with New Books, Reviews, and News sections is sent to subscribers, and the website offers RSS feeds.

The website is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. One can search for book titles via Fast search, Advanced search, search per (sub)category such as Art, Children’s books, History, Philosophy,  Reference books, Social and Political Sciences, etc.; via New Books listed per date and category; via Books in Preparation; or via Authors or Publishing Houses. Each entry is linked, making the search easier and faster. So, if you are looking for a certain book, you can also get information about other books by the author and/or publishing house, or about the subject.

If you want to know which booksellers or libraries exist in a given county or town, you’ll find them with their contact details via the Booksellers and Libraries pages listed per district and town in alphabetical order. The publishing houses, booksellers and libraries with a website are linked.

On the Authors page, you will also find a column with the newest books by the author, including book covers; and on the Publishing Houses page a column with the newest books of the publisher.

The Advanced search allows you to search via author, title, keywords, (sub)category, publishing house, medium (such as book, CD, e-Book), year of publication, language of the publication (important in a country with German and Hungarian speaking minorities), and - a special feature in the Advanced search – the original language of publication, particularly helpful for anyone searching for translations from a certain language area. Wish to know how many translations from Spanish or Japanese appeared in Romania last year? You can find out here.

The book data are collected, checked, edited and posted by an Editorial team consisting of 3 full-time and 3 part-time editors, educated as linguists and literary scholars, including a philosopher, political scientist and a journalist, with experience in publishing, editing, teaching, writing and research, and versed in various languages. The contact details of companies and institutions are the responsibility of the Federation of the two largest Romanian publishers’ associations, FER, which recently appointed a manager for contacts with publishers and promotion of the project.

The lists and contact details of companies and libraries are still being completed, and data on new books with related information are daily added to the catalogue. The priority now goes to editions published in 2009 and 2010. After this, in view of an annual production of about 6,000 titles by Romanian publishers, Infocarte’s Editorial team will start to include more books from previous years that are still available. CEEBP shall continue to coach and supervise the project.

The development of the Infocarte catalogue has been made possible with the invaluable support of the Austrian ERSTE Stiftung.

By Vera Ebels


GRANTS

In April 2010, the CEEBP awarded twelve grants, out of which eleven for books, and one to Transitions Online for its book review section.

Six of the grants for books were awarded for West – East translations, and five for East – East translations. Five of the grants for books concern works in the humanities, five are titles in belles lettres, and one is an autobiography.

Eleven of the grants were awarded within the framework of the European History and Literature program sponsored by the Allianz Kulturstiftung, Munich.


Books published with CEEBP support, January - June 2010

Norbert Elias, Was ist Soziologie?, translated from German into Polish by Bogdan Baran: Czym jest socjologia?, Aletheia, Warsaw 2010

William O. McCagg, A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670 - 1918, translated from English into Polish by Andrzej Szumański: Dzieje Żydów w monarchii Habsburskej w latach 1670-1918, Warsaw University Press, Warsaw 2010

Jozo Tomasevich, War and Revolution in Yugoslavia 1941- 1945: Occupation and Collaboration, translated from English into Croatian by Damir Biličić, Ljiljana Šućur Perišić, Snježan Hasnaš, and Marija Bilić: Rat i revolucija u Jugoslaviji 1941 – 1945. Okupacija i kolaboracija, Novi Liber, Zagreb 2010

Books published with CEEBP support in 2009 received in 2010

Ivo Andrić, Travnička Hronika, translated from Serbian into Albanian by Virgjil Muçi: Kronikat e travnikut, Botimet IDK, Tirana 2009

Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (2nd edition), translated from English into Bulgarian by Vladimir Stoychev: Cambridge Filosofski rechnik, TRUD, Sofia 2009

Patrick J. Geary, The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe, translated from the German edition (Europäische Völker im Mittelalter – Zur Legende vom Werden der Nationen, ed. by Wolfgang Benz) into Albanian by Etleva Lala and Musa Ahmeti: Miti i Kombeve: Origjina Mesjetare E Evropës Ombra GVG, Tirana 2009

Avigdor Hameiri, Ha sigaon ha gadol (The Great Madness),translated from Hebrew into Hungarian by Judit Stöckl, with an afterword by János Kőbányai: A nagy őrület, Múlt és Jövő, Budapest 2009

Claudio Magris, Lontano da dove: Joseph Roth e la tradizione ebraico-orientale, translated from Italian by Kateřina Vinová and Gabriela Chalupská: Daleko odkud. Joseph Roth a východožidovská tradice, Sefer, Praha 2009

Amos Oz, Sipur ‘al ahavah ve-hoshekh (A Tale of Love and Darkness), translated from English into Albanian by Etleva Pushi and Sokol Bega: Rrëfim për dashurinë dhe errësirën, Skanderbeg, Tirana 2009

Eginald Schlattner, Das Klavier im Nebel, translated from German into Polish by Alicja Rosenau: Fortepian we mgle, Czarne, Wołowiec 2009

Mihail Sebastian, Jurnal 1935 – 1944, translated from Romanian into Hungarian by Júlia Vallasek: Napló 1935 –1944, Koinónia, Cluj-Napoca 2009

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Über Gewißheit, translated from German into Lithuanian with a preface by Saulenė Pučiliauskaitė: Apie tikrumą, Baltos lankos, Vilnius 2009

For a list of all books published with CEEBP support see under Books


FUNDING

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