The Czech Republic plans to present itself as a country on the coast of the literary ocean. The intention for the Czech Republic to be the main guest country at the fair was recently approved by the Czech government. According to the approved plan, about 198 million crowns should be allocated for the years 2023 to 2027 for the preparation and hosting itself.
With a reference to the ocean, the Czech Republic follows up on hosting the no less famous book fair in Leipzig in 2019. At that time, the Czech Republic presented the theme of the literary sea and the nautical greeting Ahoy!, which it used in Leipzig this year as well.
“My first dive into the world of Czech literature took place through the work of Milan Kundera, who unfortunately died recently,” said Boos today. “Kunder’s life’s work is marked by the trauma of ideology and the Cold War in the last century, as well as the difficulties associated with love,” he added.
According to him, the guest of honor status in Frankfurt means that he will always focus on telling the story. “We can tell stories in different ways – in film, theater, music or literature. We look forward to all this in Frankfurt. It also has a strong economic factor: we will be able to present authors who, thanks to the sale of their rights, can reach Europe and the whole world,” said the director.
The money for the preparation and implementation of hosting will be paid from the approved budgets of the Ministry of Culture for the relevant years, i.e. without increased demands on the state budget.
The role of the chief guest is a significant tool of public, especially cultural, diplomacy. Hosting creates opportunities for increasing the share of Czech literature in translations on international markets and at the same time supports the Czech book industry, from authors, translators, artists, publishers through author organizations to licensing agencies.