This weekend saw the end of the Fourth International Book Arsenal Festival. Due to the cancellation of several similar literary events, because of the unstable domestic situation, the one that took place at the Art Arsenal last week was like a fresh breeze for the Kyiv booklovers. The book exhibit, as part of the festival-fair, attracted some 100 Ukrainian publishers that put on display a variety of fiction, children’s, non-fiction and art literature. The program included over 200 events and the festival was attended by some 30 noted men of letters and intellectuals from 10 countries. During the weekend, the visitors were mostly attracted by an old building that had actually accommodated the arsenal of the Old Pechersk Fortress, and many paused to study the Den/The Day’s stand.
Says philologist Yevhenia Roskolnykova: “What caught my eye was the title of Yevhen Malaniuk’s book, Little Russia. Sketches on the History of Our Culture. It was part of the ‘Armor-Piercing Political Writing’ series. I bought it, but I also wanted something less scholarly sophisticated, something I could enjoy reading in bed… I have known Malaniuk since my grade school years. But then I only read his verse. I think that everybody should be interested in studying his views on our painful Little Russian complex. The necessity [of learning the truth about] Ukrainian history should be on top of the agenda. We must know who we are, where we came from, and what will happen to us. The answers to these questions are inherently interrelated.
Of the Den/The Day’s Library Series books on display, The Power of the Soft Sign and Ukraina Incognita (the first of the series) sold best, although many visitors bought pocket-size works by Ukrainian classics included in the “Subversive Literature” and “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” series (e.g. Vasyl Stus, George Shevelov, Mykola Kostomarov, Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky). Visitors were also attracted by the newspaper’s glossy supplement Route No.1.