Before the end of the year, the 15th anniversary of the 100 Slavic Novels collection was celebrated at the Russian State Library, the largest library in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Slovenian writer Gabriela Babnik took part in the event. Her novel Intimno (Intimate) is included in the Slovenian list of the collection.
Literature was the focus of the event, which was accompanied by an exhibition. Gabriela Babnik was the main guest and spoke about her writing, while an excerpt from Intimno, translated into Russian by Nadezhda Starikova, was read in Slovenian and Russian by the author herself translator Zhanna Perkovskaya. In addition to Gabriela Babnik, Andreja Rihter, Director of the FSK, Viktor Fedorov, President of the Russian State Library, and Yulia Sozina, literary historian, editor of the collection in Russia and translator, spoke about the collection and the literary links.
The participants agreed that the work of the Forum of Slavic Cultures in the field of literature is important, and that the collection 100 Slavic Novels is central to the activities of the Forum in this field. “Of course, it is only a skeleton that supports a lively exchange of people and ideas, presentations, events, meetings, etc. Over the 15 years, a great many promotional events, presentations, guest appearances at book fairs have been organised, we have been guests at at least 14 different book fairs in Europe and around the world,” said, among others, the Director of the FSK.
Yulia Sozina, who edits the collection in Russia, said that this liteary series is interesting and unique and gives the feeling that the Slavs have something in common, something that unites them.
Gabriela Babnik said that while writing is a solitary activity, it is necessary to open up to different cultural spaces, and that she is honoured to be part of the collection and the 100 Slavic Novels project. She believes that the Slavic moment could be felt in her writing, in her sentences, as she grew up with Russian and Polish literature. “Slovenia is a small country at the crossroads of different cultures. In my literature, I deal with the attitude towards foreigners when they enter our cultural space,” said the guest writer.
Viktor Fedorov was delighted to meet the representatives of the FSK and the 100 Slavic Novels project. Although the Russian State Library holds mainly books in Russian, it also has a collection of foreign books in 250 languages, so such contacts and visits are valuable.
Dr Rihter announced that already in 2022 the FSK will organise visits by authors from Slavic countries at the Russian State Library.