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The 30th Saint Stephen (Szent István) Book Week began on Monday in Budapest, with 29 book publishers offering nearly 7,000 publications, including 47 new books at the event, which runs until Friday at Ferenciek Square in Budapest.
The Book Week was opened by Cardinal Péter Erdő, patron of the Saint Stephen Society (SZIT, named after Hungary’s state-founding king; 975-1038 AD), the oldest book publisher in Hungary, at Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Speaking about publishing, the Cardinal recalled the history of the words “editio” and “editor.” He explained that in the classical Roman world, the editor was the owner of the gladiators or the lord who financed the gladiatorial games, and the editio was the great event, the feast when the gladiators were brought out before the public to fight their battle in a bloody game that entertained the crowds.
Cardinal Erdő drew parallels between modern publishing and gladiatorial games, pointing out that the publication of a new book is an editio, a celebration, and that books are the ones meant to fight. “They go out to win,” but usually it is not an ideological opponent they have to defeat, but disinterest or the pessimism that characterizes the world today.
The cardinal said that this year the Szent István Week of Books was a “parade” of editions, with all the books published for Book Week
containing something that can help us overcome fear and sadness.”
Olivér Farkas, director of SZIT, explained that 36 authors will sign books during the week, and that the book week program can be found in the book week catalogue and on the event’s website, szentistvankonyvhet.hu.
via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Harmat Kiadó