It’s Worth Visiting the Booktown at SPENS

The Booktown, an event that will open the third week, i.e., Literature Week of the Kaleidoscope of Culture, is approaching. During the Literature Week, the European Capital of Culture will be a host to some of the most important names in the world of literature, theatre and music. This weekend at SPENS, on 17 and 18 September, we will have an opportunity to hear Vladimir Pištalo, Vedrana Rudan, Zijah Sokolović, Voja Brajović, Zoran Predin and the band Lačni Franz. We will also have a chance to enjoy the monodrama performed by Petar Božović entitled ‘Reče mi čoek, ćeraćemo se još, kad budem mlađi’ (Eng. A Fella Told Me, We Will Talk Again, When I’m Younger). Do not miss to visit the Book Exchange, where we will have a chance to replace old books with new ones and the Book Fair, where we will meet the major publishing houses in Serbia.

Vedrana Rudan and Vladimir Pištalo at the Booktown

The spoken (word) programme, which marks the Booktown, includes discussions between famous authors and moderators, including Vedrana Rudan, one of the most controversial regional writers and Vladimir Pištalo, the NIN award winner and author whose works have been translated into 12 European languages, and which we will have an opportunity to listen on Sunday, 18 September. The last Pištalo’s work, ‘The Meaning of the Joker’, will be in the limelight of a discussion between the author and moderator. Playing with the form but also the essence and meaning of the essay, Pištalo’s book presents this literary genre to the reader to explore various existential topics. Every Pištalo’s essay in this work is filled with laughter, as the shortest distance between people, while every character, from the classical era to the modern period, speaks through it. The book is intertwined with Pištalo’s American experience, from the period of his emigration and studies in the USA (he obtained his PhD degree in New Hampshire). Therefore, we have an opportunity to evoke the lesser-known sides of the American mentality and that characteristic of Serbia.

In addition to Pištalo, the Booktown will be marked by Croatian writer Vedrana Rudan, whose novel ‘Life Prison’ was published recently and, as usual, became the subject of great attention from the reading public. One of the topics that Rudan likes to discuss in his television appearances is the relationship between parents and children, expressing what probably many people think but don’t say. At SPENS, she will also discuss labour and the (non)prisoner status that it brings him, the freedom that is (im)possible without material security, the position of women in modern society, and many other topics from the latest book, i.e., from life. One of the most beloved local TV personalities, Tanja Peternek, will talk with the author.

Two Actors Are Reading Aloud to Children

Zijah Sokolović and Voja Brajović who will read fairy tales and children’s poetry will attract the special attention of the audience, especially the youngest ones. On Saturday, 17 September, the famous Tihi will be reading verses of Miroslav Antić, Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, Branislav Crnčević and other poets who often spoke about topics for adults through verses for children, while the next day, Zijah Sokolović will attract children’s attention with the award-winning fairy tales by Selma Parisi.

The Booktown Brings Musical and Theatre Programmes for Everyone’s Tast

Having in mind that the Booktown will be enriched will the musical and theatre programme, we will also have an opportunity to enjoy the legendary monodrama performed by Petar Božović, ‘A Fella Told Me, We Will Talk Again, When I’m Younger’, at SPENS, on Saturday, 17 September, at 8.30 p.m. Based on the poems of Matija Bećković, the monodrama captivated the audience a long time ago, both because of the text itself and Božović’s masterful adaptation. However, what makes the monodrama popular all over again is the theme, which brings the mentality and spirit of a nation closer to us through witty remarks about moodiness and stubbornness that Bećković attributes to him.

The concert by Zoran Predin and the band Lačni Franz (Saturday 17 September at 11 p.m.) is of great significance for the Booktown audience since it is part of their farewell tour. The legendary new wave band from Slovenia, with frontman Zoran Predin, commemorates 43 years on the music scene, and the frontman announced that the time to end an era that marked the ex-Yugoslav music scene has come. Music critics often called Predin the Arsen Dedić of the new wave, and what distinguished the music group and Predin were the lyrics on the edge of eroticism, politics, black humour, and sarcasm, which everyone gladly accepted. The citizens of Novi Sad will be among the first in the region who will have the honour to host the last tour of the legendary group, entitled ‘The Grand Finale’.

You can check the detailed Booktown programme and timeslots on the novisad2022 and kaleidoskopkulture websites.

Partners of the Kaleidoscope of Culture 2022 are Erste Bank, IDEA, DDOR, A1 Srbija and Heineken Srbija.

Author: Leona Pap

Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Promo/ECoC

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