Czech actors give public readings during Literature Night in Prague

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This Thursday, 14 Czech actors will give public readings of international works of literature at various places around Prague. The event is organised by the Czech Centre in Prague, in cooperation with the Museum of Czech Literature. What makes it unusual is that it will take place in the evening - from 6pm to 11pm - in the form of a literature marathon. Dita Asiedu reports:

A synagogue, two churches, a gallery, and various historical and architectural gems will all be hosting Literature Night this week. The readings will be held in thirty minute intervals, to give literature buffs a chance to visit several of them. Visitors, for example, can attend a reading from Jorge Luis Borges' "Artifices" in the crypt of St. Salvatore's Church at six o'clock and make it to another reading from Enrique Vila-Matas' "Bartleby and Co." on top of the Jindrich Tower at seven. The Prague Czech Centre's Martina Honsikova:

"This year is the second year of a Night of Literature and we again focus on literature of countries in which we have Czech Centres. So, visitors can expect to hear Argentinean, Czech, Japanese literature and so on. The main purpose was to introduce Czech Centres in general to the Czech public. The main portion of our activities take place abroad, so we wanted to bring something back to the Czech Republic. So we decided to combine literature, which is very popular here in the Czech Republic, with unusual places in the Prague 1 district in the centre of Prague. Altogether, there are nine places and nine countries."

Czech actor, Jan Potmesil - together with colleagues Marta Vancurova and Tomas Karger - will be reading at the Spanish Synagogue. They will present excerpts from Hungarian Nobel Prize for Literature holder Imre Kertesz' "Liquidation":

"I really appreciate being given the chance to take part in this event. I think it has great potential to become popular. It combines the genius loci of Prague, great and valuable historical places, with the vibrant interpretation of literature by the world's finest authors. That brings to life the story or part of the story that the great authors are telling. It's an unusual experience that, to me, is of mystical proportions."

The event has been inspired by a similar project organised by the Czech Centre in Dresden. During Prager Nacht, or Prague Night, Czech literature is introduced to a German audience. The first time Literature Night was introduced in Prague last year, it attracted some 4,000 visitors. Organisers hope the event will be just as successful this year. Admission to all readings is free.

For more information on Literature Night, please visit the Czech Centres' official website at: www.czechcentres.cz