LVIV – The most important and expected book event in Ukraine celebrated its majority by the incredible number of events (over 750). Over 300 authors of 26 countries such as Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Georgia, Estonia, Congo, Nigeria, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, the US, Turkey, Switzerland, etc. participated in the forum.
On September 14-18 they held the National Book Fair, the International Literary Festival, the Interregional Library Forum, the Publishing Business Forum, the Translation Festival, various presentations, autograph-sessions, literary readings, roundtables, numerous meetings with the Ukrainian and foreign authors, the non-stop night of poetry and music that lasted till the morning, etc. The main topics of the forum were the 500th anniversary of Ivan Fedorovych (Fedorov) and the 200th anniversary of the writer, poet, head of the “Ruthenian Triad” and initiator of the literary miscellany Rusalka Dnistrovaya Markian Shashkevych. The star guest of the forum was the famous Norwegian writer, script writer and author of the world bestsellers Erlend Loe.
Since the organizers expected a lot of publishers willing to visit the Lviv Publishers’ Forum, they increased the number of sites: the events were held in the Art Palace, Potocki Palace, in the open air in Svobody Avenue, in the premises of the Philharmonic Society, theaters, art galleries, bookshops, university auditoriums and even restaurants. The Lviv restaurants created a special Book Menu with the names of the books and prices for them. The visitors could buy the books directly in the restaurants without any price markup.
This year the forum was underfunded so the organizers introduced the tickets. One-time ticket cost five hryvnias, the discount ticket cost three hryvnias and the family ticket cost ten hryvnias. It was also possible to use the tickets for four days of twenty-five hryvnias.
The Best Book of the Forum-2011 Contest held from July 1 till September 1 had received over 400 applications from 92 publishing houses. The new book by Den, Syla Miakoho Znaka [The Power of The Soft Sing. – Ed.] received the award of the International Institute of Education, Culture and Relations with Diasporas at the National University Lviv Polytechnic School. The grand prize was awarded to the monograph album by head of department of the European Art of 19th-20th centuries at the Lviv Art Gallery Vita Susak called Ukrainski Mysttsi Paryzha. 1900-1939 [The Ukrainian Artists of Paris. 1990-1939. – Ed.] (jointly published by Rodovid and A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA). In general, the jury awarded 15 best books of the forum, in particular Rukopysni Karty Ukrainy [The Handwritten Maps of Ukraine. – Ed.] by Uliana Krystalevych, Nahnitannia Moroku [Forcing the Gloom. – Ed.] by Ivan Dziuba, Istorychny Atlas Ukrainy [The Historical Atlas of Ukraine. – Ed.] and Dochekatysia Muzyky [Waiting for the Music. – Ed.] by Valentyn Sylvestrov, two books about Kateryna Bilokur, the fourth translation of the Bible by the Ukrainian Bible Union, Arkhitektura Suchasnosti [The Modern Architecture. – Ed.] by Bohdan Cherkes, Liudyna Bez Vlastyvostei [A Man without Qualities] by Robert Musil, the textbook of the Greek language by Uliana Holovach, Chorne i Chervone. 100 Ukrainskykh Poetiv [The Black and the Red. 100 Ukrainian Poets. – i.], Chervone i Chorne. 100 Ukrainskykh Poetok [The Red and the Black. 100 Ukrai-nian Female Poets. – Ed.], Rozpiata Muza [The Crucified Muse. – Ed.] (edited by Yurii Vynnychuk), etc.
The award “Zolota Piryinka” [The Golden Plumelet. – Ed.] was given to the best authors for children. According to Anheliatko magazine the best children’s writers of this year are the poet Roman Skyba and the author of fairy tales Sashko Lirnyk.
The special award of the forum “Za Dobru Spravu i Promotsiiu ta
Liubov do Lvova” [For the Good Work, Promotion and Love to Lviv. – Ed.] was given to the Polish author Marek Krajewski.
However, The Day before and during the Forum its director Oleksandra Koval, unfailing for 18 years, emphasized that the problems do not subside, but quite the opposite: “We are supported by many institutions and people but the problems remain...” The main problem is underfunding; the funding was reduced by four times this year (325,442.50 hryvnias in 2010 and 80,000 hryvnias in 2011).
“For the normal work we need at least 800,000 hryvnias more,” KOVAL remarked. “I am constantly told that our forum is a business project and we earn money, so they have to support other festivals but not ours. I get really offended when I hear it. I also know that we can be supported not only with the money.”
“In 1994 when the Lviv Publishers’ Forum started we could not even imagine that it would grow into such an important event that is today the face of our country,” President of the Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Book Sellers Oleksandr AFONIN says. “Unfortunately, this face of the country is created by a small group of people who realize that the country cannot live without books. The book is the personification of the spirit, knowledge and memory of any country. We have to support the book in order to turn Ukraine into an intellectual, cultural and moral country, so that Ukraine finally receives the normal human aspect. Yes, Ukraine has the enthusiasts doing it but the human possibilities are limited. If the government does not feel this limit we might start going round in a circle. I mean that the Lviv Publishers’ Forum has to be patronized not by the municipal or regional authorities. It is the task of the government. In particular, the officials have to realize that Euro-2012 that is so much discussed today will pass and will not be held in Ukraine for the next 30, 50 or even 100 years. The stadiums in Lviv, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv will stay but they will not cover the enormous hole in the mentality of millions of Ukrainians. This hole is the discrepancy between the society’s needs, the needs of the civilization of knowledge and the possibilities the Ukrainians have to receive. First of all, the Lviv Publishers’ Forum is the huge propagandist event making people understand that it is impossible to personally, professionally and spi-ritually develop without books. So the book is an indispensible strategic product. There is a phrase that there are two things that spoil living: the roads and the fools. However, it is much easier to repair the roads than return to the society the moral, intelligence, conscience and patriotism that only books can educate.”