Book Publishers Benefit from Spike in Foreign Demand

Prague, Dec 2 (CTK) – The Czech state has registered domestic and foreign publishers’ rising interest in a subsidy in support of book translations from Czech into German, evidenty linked the Leipzig book trade fair in 2019 with the Czech Republic as the main guest, Deputy Culture Minister Katerina Kalistova has said.


Kalistova told CTK that the ministry has received as many as 29 applications for the subsidy in 2018 so far, compared with some five to eight in previous years.


She said the ministry had 8.5 million crowns to distribute in support of Czech works’ translations and it would like to have at least the same sum at its disposal for 2018.


Before 2016, the total sum annually reached about two million crowns. Last year’s increase might have also been behind the publishers’ rising interest, Kalistova said.


German, Austrian, Swiss and also Czech publishers are interested in both classical works and contemporary Czech poetry and prose, as well as literature for children, and an anthology of modern Czech drama is also being prepared, the ministry said.


The Moravian Land Library in Brno has been assigned to organise the Czech presentation in Leipzig, and its coordinator is Martin Krafl, former director of the Czech centre in Vienna and later in Berlin.


According to information on the ministry’s website, a total of 760 Czech books translated into foreign languages gained the state subsidy in the past 19 years, beginning with eight books in 1998 and ending with 37 in 2016.


After years of preparations, a Czech literary centre was opened this year to promote Czech literature abroad. Established by the Culture Ministry, it belongs to the Moravian Land Library but is seated in Prague.