30 August 2012 The nation reads Pan Tadeusz

This year marks two hundred years since the time in which Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem, Pan Tadeusz, czyli Ostatni zajazd na Litwie. Historia szlachecka z roku 1811 i 1812 we dwunastu księgach wierszem [Pan Tadeusz, or the Last Foray in Lithuania: A Story of Life among Polish Gentlefolk in the Years 1811 and 1812 in Twelve Books] is set. To celebrate the anniversary, the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, decided to inaugurate a nationwide campaign entitled The national reading of Pan Tadeusz. Krakow is also planning to join in. On Saturday (the 8th of September), from 10 a.m. onwards, Krakow actors and personalities from the world of culture, art and the academia will be reading out the consecutive books of Pan Tadeusz near Adam Mickiewicz's statue in Market Square. Guests will include, to name but a few: Anna Dymna, Krzysztof Orzechowski, Dorota Segda, Grzegorz Mielczarek, Jerzy Fedorowicz, Anna Szałapak, Bronisław Cieślak, Jacek Romanowski, Tadeusz Malak, Bożena Zawiślak, and Andrzej Biegun.

PLEASE NOTE: One book, The Consultation, will be read out by the residents of Krakow. All those wishing to participate in the event are invited to an audition, which will be held on Thursday (the 6th of September) between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Groteska Theatre (ul. Skarbowa 2). For more information, go to www.groteska.pl or call: 884-180-644.

The event is organised by the Office of the City of Krakow, the Groteska Theatre, and the Krakow Festival Office. The Krakow event will be the continuation of the 2nd Krakow Poetry Night, scheduled for the day before, during which several dozen different meetings and concerts will be held, along with poetry readings and discussions, and a poetic experiment on the borderline between cybernetic poetry, new media and music.

The National Reading
project is designed to promote reading, highlight the need to pay attention to the Polish language, and to strengthen the sense of cultural and national community through the public reading of Polish classics. The work selected this year is Pan Tadeusz, the most popular among the poems by one of the greatest Polish bards. Public reading and listening to stories about times long past draws on the traditional concept of oral history, which cultivates the sense of community among the listeners. It is essential that poetry should not just be an aesthetic experience, but also an opportunity to learn about our common history.

In Warsaw, the reading will be attended by the President of the Republic of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski. More than 30 cities throughout Poland joined in, including: Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Elbląg, Jelenia Góra, Katowice, Kielce, Łódź, Opole, and Poznań. Each will put in practice its own original idea for the project. Alongside professional actors, participants will include volunteers, school students, and scouts. All over the country, people will come together in squares, plazas, and parks to hear the stanzas from Pan Tadeusz delivered in different interpretations and in different ways.