It Was a Festival of Variety

Over 200 guests from 15 countries around the world participated in The Ark of Bruno Schulz Imagination Festival in Drohobycz, which concluded on Wednesday. The crowning moment of this week-long festival was a presentation of Schulz’s prose translated by the Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovich.

This festival is a great event dedicated to Bruno Schulz. 2012 marks the 120th anniversary of his birth and the 70th of his death. The author of Street of Crocodiles lived, worked, and perished in Drohobycz. This year was the fifth edition of the festival.

“The fact that Schulz is beginning to figure so prominently in international circles is a great success for Polish culture,” Grzegorz Gauden, Director of the Book Institute, told the Polish Press Agency.

“I am very pleased, because we can clearly see that Schulz is becoming a citizen of this city. The very fact that his works have been translated by Ukraine’s most outstanding writer is in itself an event, and an important sign of intercultural unity. I would like to recall that the Ukrainian parliament has declared 2012 Schulz Year. The ministers wrote in their speech that they were honoring a great Polish writer, which, given the delicacy of Polish/Ukrainian relations, is nothing short of phenomenal, and testifies to the fact that through great artists we can build a sort of international understanding,” he added.

The program of the seven-day festival was packed with meetings with writers, concerts, plays, and exhibitions by artists inspired by the work of Schulz. It was also accompanied by an international academic festival entitled “Bruno Schulz as a Philosopher and Literary Theorist.” The festival is organized by Vera Menyok of the Poland Center at Drohobycz University.

“We want to give Schulz back to the place where he lived, worked, and tragically died. Traces of his life in Drohobycz faded for many years, and no one knew anything about him. My mission is to change all that,” she claimed in an interview for the Polish Press Agency.

“This was a festival of great variety, packed with artists, but above all with the most outstanding Polish scholars, publishers, and authorities on Schulz in the world. We believe that this event will leave its mark on Drohobycz. Twenty years ago Schulz was utterly unknown here, because no one was aware of his existence; and now everyone in Drohobycz knows about him,” arts director of the festival Grzegorz Józefczuk told the Polish Press Agency.