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This year’s PesText pushed a double RESET

This year’s PesText pushed a double RESET


Text-World-Literature – PesText 2020 live and online


PesText staff has succeeded to alter the schedule of the international festival due to COVID-19 restrictions with remarkable flexibility. The result is an extremely colorful, hybrid programme. The festival organizers are awaiting audience members with two great exhibitions of illustrations, live events and online streaming as well,  Zoom talks and screenings of prerecorded interviews with international author celebrities thus, moving with the times and turning PesText into a live and online world literature festival during a pandemic.

PesText Literary Festival, organized for the second time this year, is focusing on world literature and on the possible representations of foreign languages and cultures in another country’s literary scene. Therefore, one of the missions of PesText Festival is to put literary translation in the spotlight, as it is one of the most important creative literary activities. Offering a quick response to the pandemic situation, the festival is being launched with an altered concept next week. The events between 22 and 25 September will include live events as well as online ones in order to ensure international access.

”The events of 2020 have showed that geographical and regional vicinity is worth more than it used to be. The pandemic seems to disturb even neighbouring countries’ relations. We would like to avoid this, and focus on the literature of our neighbouring countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Without them we would be missing a great deal of beautiful words and stories, not to mention a deeper understanding of our Central European identity. In an era of mutual fear, suspicion, cancelled flights and border closures, we believe in the power of literature to connect and motivate people from different nations for dialogue”, Árpád Kollár Festival Director explained.

Most of the live events of the festival will be held on ShipA38, but they all will be streamed online too. At two other venues, Petőfi Literary Museum and B32 Exhibit Center, there will be exhibitions of illustrations open to the public, and some open air events are on too this year again at University Square.

Some of the events will be: POKET Booklaunch with music – Andrzej Stasiuk ‘How I became a writer: Attempt at an Intellectual Biography’ (Hogyan lettem író) with the translator Pálfalvi Lajos and Vecsei H. Miklós, Readers’ Theater of Polish-Hungarian drama, Winners of the PesText Writers’ Competition, Budapest Impressions by Foreign Writers in the PesText Impro, Polish-Hungarian Paper Theater Workshop with the Wawel dragon, Literary Translators in Hungary Workshop, The Beautiful Fours, or What Makes a Book Beautiful? – exhibition, Launch of the PesText Fanzine, Shakespeare sonnets in a musical context, Roundtable Discussion on Copyrights, Csáth Géza Award Gala.

International guest writers of the Festival, giving a rapid and cooperative response to the situation, will be present in the form of talk shows and dynamic videointerviews due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. These contents will be available online in the original languages (Polish, Turkish, Serbian, English, Russian, Portugal, Norwegian, Czech, Slovakian) as well as in Hungarian translation. The interviewees are the following: Nóra Szentiványi, Łukasz Orbitowski, Oya Baydar, Buket Uzuner, Siniša Tucić, Svetislav Basara, Sayfo Omar, Ivana Bodrožić, Sabine Hossenfelder, Ernesto Rodrigues, Steinar Opstad, Piotr Socha, Catarina Sobral, Pavol Rankov, Alena Mornštajnová each with their own interviewer. There will be an exciting, hour-long interview as well with the star author of PesText Festival, Boris Akunin with the contribution of Miklós M. Nagy.

The organisers follow responsible event management rules thus, they limit the numbers of audiences, and the events will be held partially in open-air or in airy rooms, making sure that there is enough space and no crowds evolve.

Programme details: https://pestextfestival.hu/fesztival-programok-2020/

News: a PesText weboldalán, facebook and instagram oldalán.

Contact: [email protected]

Organisers: Hungarian Literature Copyright Protection Association and Rights Management, Petőfi Literary Fund

Sponsors: Petőfi Literary Museum, National Cultural Fund of Hungary (NKA), Visegrad Fund, Embassy of Poland in Budapest