Presenting the Vilenica 2012 International Literary Prize
Lokev, 8.9.2012 | press release
The President of the Republic, Dr Danilo Türk and his wife, Barbara Miklič Türk, attended the ceremonial presentation of the grand Vilenica International Literary Prize for 2012, which was presented to David Albahari, a Serbian writer of Jewish origin residing in Canada. In his address, the President of the Republic said that the annual presentation of the literary prize in Vilenica was a central point of culture, in particular of literature, for the entire Central European region, which reminds us every year of the tragic history of the region between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas.
“This is a place of great events and great tragedies. Here, human destiny experienced some of its hardest trials. In Central Europe, we frequently say that our region was the place where ideas created in Western Europe were tested in practice. The practical experiences were frequently much more tragic than their abstract, philosophical or other origins. Which is why we must always think of Central Europe as a place of ideas which must spring from our own experience, the experience of the Central European tragedy and Central European optimism. Because even if Central Europe is a place of tragic experience, it has nevertheless never lost its optimism,” emphasised President Türk.
It is very important that this experience is reflected in the most subtle forms of expression, in literature. Vilenica is so precious because it enables the crystallisation of these ideas and experiences, and thus brings noble content to Europe and the world as whole, added the President.
The President also referred to this year’s Vilenica theme – nomadic life – which is typical of modern times. He said that he has also had the experience of living abroad, in New York, which is a typical meeting point of nomads from all over the world. In such environments, a person learns about the nomadic changing of one’s identity and all the problems that such a life can carry with it. A nomadic life also provides us with pleasant experiences and a recognition of how full, diverse and rich life can be, added President Türk.