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Polish presidential couple in annual readathon

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 08.09.2018 12:25
Polish writer Stefan Żeromski’s "Przedwiośnie" was the centrepiece of this year’s National Reading Day featuring President Andrzej Duda and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda in Warsaw on Saturday.
Andrzej Duda and his wife Agata during  National Reading Day. Photo: PAP/Rafał GuzAndrzej Duda and his wife Agata during National Reading Day. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

The presidential couple read out excerpts from the early 20th-century classic at Warsaw’s Saski Garden, public broadcaster Polish Radio reported.

Kornhauser-Duda said that reading sessions were taking place at around 2,900 locations.

The annual readathon, designed to encourage Poles to read books, was also to be held at 134 sites abroad, state news agency PAP reported.

The novel Przedwiośnie, first published in Polish in 1925, has been translated into English alternatively as Seedtime, First Spring, Before the Spring, Early Spring, Springtime, or The Spring to Come. It was published in the United States as The Coming Spring in 2007.

Last year, over 2,000 Polish towns and cities participated in the initiative, which was also held in 26 countries around the world, including Japan, Australia and Mexico, private broadcaster Radio Zet reported.

According to the National Library, 38 percent of Poles read at least one book in 2017 whereas just nine percent read seven publications or more.

Stefan Żeromski was one of Poland’s most prominent writers. He is particularly renowned for his naturalistic novels in which he probed, with deep compassion, a wide range of social problems.

Przedwiośnie is set in the years preceding the regaining of independence by Poland in 1918 and during the first period of the rebuilding of the Polish state.

The main protagonist, Cezary Baryka and his father, a political exile, escape from Baku before the Bolshevik Revolution. The father dies on their way to Poland and Cezary arrives in his parents’ homeland, gradually discovering how it differs from what his father had been telling him about it.

Critics describe the novel as an accurate portrayal of the social and political problems that faced the newly-independent Poland.


Source: Polish Radio

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