26 October 2009 Writers and critics will led Reading lessons for secondrary school students

The 1st Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival initiates the community initiative called Reading lessons with… During four Festival days secondary school students will meet prominent figures representing Polish literature and literature studies: Marek Bieńczyk, Stefan Chwin, Michał Paweł Markowski and Piotr Śliwiński.

Reading lessons with... propose an idea of a shared reading of literature. The initiative is meant to sensitise young people to interpretative difficulties and pitfalls accompanying the reading of outstanding literary works. The contact with writers and critics – people who have reached perfection in the art of interpretation – is intended to raise the young people’s competence and to equip them with the skills of intelligent reading.

All secondary school students for whom reading is not just entertainment or a school duty, but a real passion which they are determined to actively and creatively develop are invited to take part in Reading lessons with… The lessons will give them the opportunity to meet world-class university professors, writers, essayists, philosophers or publishers, and, above all, to witness how those who are professionally occupied with literature read important texts and are able to discuss them. Also, the lessons will provide a chance to get to know the masters of literature and literary texts not included in the official school reading list.

The lessons will take the form of discussion workshops. The guests will propose in advance a literary work that everyone will read. Later, they will present their own reading of the work and will moderate a discussion on it. Selected texts will go beyond the school canon; they will also be relatively short so that the students can prepare for the discussions.

On Tuesday (3rd November) Stefan Chwin will conduct the first Lesson, devoted to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. The following day (Wednesday, 4th November), Piotr Śliwiński will meet students to talk about W czterech ścianach mego bólu (Within the Four Walls of My Pain) by Aleksander Watt. The next Reading lesson, during which Marek Bieńczyk will analyse Herman Melville’s Bartleby, will take place on Thursday (5th November). Finally, on Friday (6th November), prof. Michał Paweł Markowski will talk to students about Joseph Conrad’s An Outpost of Progress.

All the Lessons will take place at 12 in the Pawilon Wyspiańskiego (the Wyspiański Pavilion) at pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2 (All Saints’ Square 2).

All secondary school students and teachers interested in participating in Reading Lessons with... during the 1st Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival should contact Agata Grabowiecka, tel: 0-12 424 56 65, e-mail: agrabowiecka@biurofestiwalowe.pl.

Reading lessons with... is a nationwide project. The Patron Committee consists of: Stefan Chwin, Stanisław Bereś, Grażyna Borkowska, Alicja Brodzka-Wald, Przemysław Czapliński, Inga Iwasiów, Krzysztof Kłosiński, Michał P. Markowski, Anna Nasiłowska, Ryszard Nycz, Paweł Próchniak and Piotr Śliwiński. The programme of Reading lessons with... alongside with information on how to join the project can be found at www.lekcjeczytania.tygodnik.com.pl. All the teachers who would like to take part in organizing a Reading lesson in their city should write to lekcjeczytania@tygodnik.com.pl.