his year in October Hungary will be the seeded guest of the 51st Frankfurt Book Fair. For this reason the programme series have a special relevance concerning Hungary’s participation. Apart from presenting publishing in Hungary there will be a number of cultural programmes and presentations as well. The Frankfurt ‘99 Non-profit Organisation is co-ordinating the Hungarian exhibitions presentations.
A decision was made in March 1999 that, accepting the offer of the German partners, the national exhibition booth would be set in a greater area, in Hall 3.0, on the ground floor, together with the Hungarian Pavilion. Following the decision, the Ekler Építész Ltd, the designer of the stand modified its inner architectural plans. Instead of the 50 square meters – as it was originally planned – the enterprise will take up approximately 650 square meters. According to the plans the Hungarian stand will have a uniform outlook that is consequent in application starting from the installation to the furniture and signs, and is also easy to be followed by visitors. The basic idea of the plan uses the magnification of the book format in an architectural metaphor. The furniture of the stand is fully composed of objects associated with books and publishing that are magnified to human size. The exhibitors’ stands will be separated by fixed “wardrobe-books” that are of a wardrobe’s size but look like books. These will also be of practical use to the stand, since they can serve for the storage of the books. The row of the boxes will be bordered by a decoration reminiscent of bookshelves. They will have signed advertising décor books on their upper shelf. Among the library bookshelf-shaped stand rows there will be moveable rolling "wardrobe-books" that provides the contour to the stage. These can also have books on their shelves.
There are two possible ways to exhibit in the national exhibition stand. Those applying individually can use the previously promoted rentable stands, and, with the intention of giving a picture of Hungarian publishing as a whole, for publishing firms with less financial potentials the Frankfurt'99 Non-profit Organisation is arranging space in theme ordered groups for free. Our aim this year, as always, is to present the widest spectrum possible of Hungarian publishing and to organise a variety of professional and promotional programmes that serve as an ample background to the Hungarian output. Among these could be rated the professional programmes of the Hungarian Publishers’ and Book Distributors’ Association (Magyar Könyvkiadók és Könyvterjesztők Egyesülete) and of the Hungarian Printers’ Professional Union (Magyar Nyomdász Szakmai Szövetség). Also here are programmes of the publishing firms themselves, their book shows as well as the cultural events that will take place on the stage of the exhibition booth.
Archaic Hungarian drinking songs and the works of poets like Balassi, Berzsenyi, Petőfi that have been set to music will be recited by the Vagantes Trio in historical costume and with rich instrumental accompaniment. The wine-tasting of the Magyar Borkollégium (Hungarian Wine Association) with Hungarian wine specialists and, of course the audience participating is expected to have a consummate curiosity of the programme. The German minorities of Hungary will also bear a part in the programmes, with an odd up-to-datedness of the presentation of an edition of selected poems of Valéria Koch, who passed away last year at a young age. Dr. Ferenc Glatz, president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences will give a presentation on current issues in science policy in Hungary.
In the round-table discussion of TVK and Helikon Publishing Company several prominent Hungarian sociologists (Elemér Hankiss, László Lengyel, Ákos Szilágyi, Csaba Gombár) will be participating. There will also be exhibitions that will further-enrich the programme offer of the stand. The Hungarian Illustrators’ Society will be presenting the works of the most excellent Hungarian graphic artists in the course of a show entitled Ex Libris. The German Literature’s Image of Hungary will be the title of the exhibition of Dr. Horst Fassel that follows the above phenomenon in the time interval from the 13th to the 20th century.
The National Book Stand is prepared to provide the frames that are worthy of this great celebration of Hungarian culture and books in Frankfurt.