Melbourne, September 3, 2001M
 

Dragi prijatelji / Dear friends,

2001 has continued to be a remarkable year for Thezaurus on the World Wide Web, in its role as a cultural ambassador of Slovenian culture and language on the Internet.

August has been exceptional with the success of the Slovenian literary events in Melbourne. The Thezaurus website has on average over 27 000 Hits a month, from visitors from 44 countries. 45% of our viewers are from USA, 30% from Australia and 10% from Slovenia.

In August we celebrated Slovenian contemporary literature in Melbourne with two major public events: The Launch of Slovenian Literator, an online archive of Slovenian contemporary literature and organisation and promotion of Melbourne part of Australian Reading Tour of Five Slovenian Writers.

July 24-August 10, 2001: The Australian Reading Tour of five Slovenian writers
With the motto From the Heart of Europe - Walkabout of Slovenian Writers Down Under


The Reading Tour and the project Literator.net were a presentation and promotion of Slovenian literature for the English-speaking audience, leading to closer cultural ties between Australia and Slovenia.
The visiting literati were: the internationally reknowned and widely translated poet Tomaž Šalamun, the bestseller writer Evald Flisar, the leading postmodernist writer Andrej Blatnik, Lela B. Njatin the writer of the novel Intolerance which has been said to predict the Balkan wars and Maja Vidmar, one of the leading female poets of Slovenia.

There were four events in Melbourne, from 2 to 4 August, involving the following institutions:

  • Monash University, Centre for European Studies,
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, School of Creative Media,
  • the Victorian Writers Centre and
  • Slovenian Religious and Cultural Centre, Baraga House.

At three venues, the authors read their poems or prose in English and at Baraga House in Slovenian. After the readings, question time was given and the audience had the opportunity to meet them all, and enjoy stimulating discussion.At Monash University, the seminar was held in the Performing Arts Centre. It was chaired by Dr. Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover, of Slavic Studies and Centre for Comparative Literature, and introduced by Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Director of The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.


Reading at Victorian Writers' Centre, Melbourne
Writers in conversation with participants
@ Victorian Writer's Centre, Melbourne
At RMIT the programme took place in the Radio Theatre and was chaired by Di Websdale-Morrisey of the School of Creative Media. The opening address and Launch of Literator.net was given by Sasha Ceferin of ISSV. Chiron Morpheus the web developer of the online literary archive presented it on a stage screen. Then, Malcolm King, Manager of the School of Creative Media gave a book presentation to the five authors.

At the Victorian Writers' Centre, Kerry Watson, Programme Officer chaired the readings. At Baraga House, Sasha Ceferin chaired the programme. The readings were preceded by a welcome by three secondary students of Slovenian from the Sraj family, Matija welcomed the visitors, followed by a prose reading by Lenka ,accompanied by Pavel on the guitar. The Baraga programme has been shown briefly on Channel 32 of SBS television.

There was considerable publicity and promotional activity for the Tour and there was coverage by the media with press interviews, for Melbourne radio stations, and for the Age the main Melbourne newspaper.

The poems and prose read by the authors have been published in a selection of their translated works in the booklet , From the Heart of Europe. Published this year for the Reading Tour by The Centre for Slovenian Literature in Ljubljana, copies were distributed to the audience.

Literator.net - Slovenian Literary Cartography

This innovative internet archive of Slovenian contemporary literature was presented on a large screen, during the readings, presenting the five authors and at the end of the reading program explained by the creator Chiron Morpheus.

The basis for the archive is the anthology of Slovenian poetry and prose compiled by the poet-writer Aleš Debeljak, The Imagination of Terra Incognita: Slovenian Writing 1945-1995.

The final selection of writers and the selection of their most representative works will be finalised in following two months in collaboration with the Association of Slovenian Writers and other relevant writing institutions.

The innovative and dynamic concept has been created by our web developer Morpheus as a model for organic and thematic presentation of Slovenian literary art.

Both events were well received by the the Australian public and Slovenian community, with a great deal of interest generated also in the Literator project.

High interest was generated about online Literator project. Further discussions about its application and development will take place in September with relevant Slovenian professional institutions in Ljubljana.

Front end of literator.net
Back end (database editing console) of literator.net

Lep Pozdrav / Best Wishes,
Thezaurus Team
Aleksandra Ceferin
Sandi Ceferin
Chiron Morpheus