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Inspired by Franz Kafka and focused on his legacy and literature of German-speaking countries

The guest of honour of the 29th edition was chosen based on the anniversary of Franz Kafka. It is the literary project of Das Buch which has been part of Book World Prague for several years. In 2024 it will be entitled Das Buch – German-Language Literature

The guest of honour programme will feature authors and speakers from all three German-speaking countries, i.e. Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The programme, prepared jointly by the Goethe-Institut of the Czech Republic, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague and the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation, will present the wealth of contemporary German-language literature across genres, such as fiction, comics and children’s literature but also philosophical and journalistic texts. It will focus on achievements and tendencies reflecting the current state of society as well as the specific ties of the Czech Republic to its neighbouring countries. 

Not only the guest of honour, but this year’s entire programme was influenced by an important literary anniversary: 3rd June will mark one hundred years since the death of Franz Kafka, German-speaking writer who lived in Prague. The motto of the 29th edition, which will be the philosophical line of the festival reflecting the purpose of literature and how it changes our inner life, is Kafka’s quote: “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us”. The programme will offer discussions about Kafka’s work and inspiration it provided and the festival opening will feature a concert for the public performed by Kafka Band, a band that sets Kafka’s texts to music. The Kafka anniversary is also accentuated by the visuals prepared by our key graphic artist Pavel Fuksa. An observant viewer will recognize the out-of-focus beetle from Kafka’s short story – The Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung) in his design.