I very much hope you are well in these uneasy times. We feel sad and bit frustrated that all major events planned for this year's Comenius anniversary have been canceled or postponed because of the covid-19 pandemic. Therefore we decided to launch an initiative that would commemorate Comenius in a non-traditional way and at the same time would enable all of us to participate in an online event in a situation when we are prevented from attending personal meetings and academic conferences.
We have decided to organize a 24-hour non-stop public online reading of Comenius's texts on 15 November which is the date of his death 350 years ago. The idea is to bring together at least 96 people who are interested in Comenius as scholars or artists.
Each of us would choose an extract from a Comenius's work and read it via the platform of Zoom in the original language (be it Latin, Czech or another language used by Comenius), in a vernacular translation or in an English translation. It is also possible to combine more languages, for example original Latin and a vernacular translation or a vernacular translation and an English translation. Each of us would have 15 minutes for such a performance (including a short introduction of the performer and the chosen text).
The idea is that we would start at the midnight (0:00) 14 November Central European time with a first 15-minute reading from Prague, then the colleagues in Japan would take over the baton and continue, followed by the Korean colleagues, the colleagues from Russia, etc., and so the reading would continue from the East to the Central Europe back again, would follow to the Western Europe and finally to the Americas – before it would finish the virtual “pilgrimage” in Prague at the midnight 15 November. In such a way, this multilingual reading from Comenius's works would make its way from the far East via Europe to the Americas, symbolizing and reminding of Comenius's own journeys as an exile, of his Via lucis (The Way of Light) and of the spreading his works and ideas all over the world. We have decided to use Zoom for such an experiment and if possible would like to stream our reading also for the benefit of those who are interested in listening but wish not to read.
However, we are not able to realize this plan without your help and support, which we firmly hope for. Would you like to take part in this experimental reading, preliminarily called Reading Comenius Universally? If so, we would like to ask you for choosing your preferable time and preferable Comenius's text. Please, let us know your interest as soon as possible. Below we copy a link to a shared Google sheet where you can sign and add details. Note that the indicated time is Central European (the Greenwich time + one hour) and you have to calculate your local time from it.
Here is the link:
We will be grateful if you help us to spread the news about this initiative in circles of your colleagues who might be interested in joining us.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
With best wishes and greetings from Prague,