Readings and talks
07 Oct 2023 – 08 Oct 2023

Palace Stories

Venue: Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin
Research project(s): World Fiction, Post/Socialist

Readings and talks on Palace Stories at Humboldt Forum, moderated by Matthias Schwartz

The international writing project “Palace Stories” transforms transformation processes in parts of the former Eastern Bloc from 1989 to the present day into literature that can be felt. Because that’s what literature can do: condense complex events of the past narratively and with word images and thus make them comprehensible.

The Palace of the Republic, which stood where the Humboldt Forum is today from 1976 to 2008, provides the narrative occasion for a literary examination of popular and cultural palaces in Bucharest, Kyiv, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw and possibly other places. Who knows where the “palace stories” will take the audience?

Unlike the Palace of the Republic in Berlin, which has completely disappeared, these other palaces continue to shape the cityscape as important representative buildings of socialism. In search of stories in and around these political places, five literary tandems from a total of seven countries have come together to tell of upheavals in stories or poems ranging from essayistic to autobiographical. Thomas Perle and Elise Wilk, Volker Sielaff and Tomáš Kafka, Lisa Weeda and Mima Simić, Joshua Groß and Angel Igov, and Uljana Wolf and Joanna Mueller are searching and writing together. Be curious about the resulting texts, which will have their premiere on October 7 in the presence of the authors, performed by the actors Almut Zilcher and Joshua Seelenbinder introduced by conversations with the authors, moderated by the literary scholar Matthias Schwartz.

Slavist and historian Matthias Schwartz is co-coordinator of the program area World Literature and research team leader of the projects World Fiction, Post/Socialist. Eastern European Literatures and Cultures and Adjustment and Radicalisation. Dynamics in Popular Culture(s) in Pre-War Eastern Europe.