UCL News


Destination London

19 October 2009


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  • Destination London
  • UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
  • UCL Unit for Public Engagement
  • Dr Wendy Bracewell
  • Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction
  • 'Destination London' is a series of public events starting this week to mark the completion of the 'East Looks West' travel writing project.

    The aim of the project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies, was to research and develop resources and publish work on East European travel writing from the 16th century to the present day.

    The public events programme will showcase a range of writers and literary works covering different thematic perspectives and runs from 19 October to 7 November.

    In this suite of audio podcasts, we feature a selection of extracts from East European writers describing their experiences of London.

    The extracts are read in English by staff and students from UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Each extract is under four minutes in length.

    1. Destination London: an introduction to the programme

    2. Oleksandr Koshits', Around the world with a song [Z pisneiu cherez svit], (Winnipeg, 1970), trans. by Vladislava Reznik. Read by Zbigniew Wojnowski.

    "It is pompous, unpleasant and sad. People are taciturn, sullen, and disgustingly self-confident."

    3. Dositej Obradovi_, The life and adventures of Dimitrije Obradovi [_ivot i priklju_enija Dimitrija Obradovi_a] (Vol. 2, Leipzig, 1788), trans. by Wendy Bracewell. Read by Bojan Aleksov. 

    "I gaze at the women and girls: these creatures are so lovely that it is impossible to see or to imagine anything lovelier in the world."

    4. Kazimiera I__akowiczówna, Wspomnienia i reporta_e (Warszawa: Wi__a, 1997), trans. Kate Wilson. Read by Oliwia Berdak

    "And then their valuable porcelain! I quake at the thought of what would happen if you set it down firmly on the table."

    5. Demetres  Psathas, In the land of the Milords [Ste¯ cho¯ra to¯n mylordo¯n] (Athens: Saliveros, 1951), trans. Tania Kantzios. Read by Giorgos Monogioudis.

    "They're strange, the English. A great people. But they're only for themselves."

    6. Claudia Cîrlig, Little London [Mica Londra] (Bucharest: LiterNet.ro, 2005), trans. Lidia Vianu. Read by Raluca Musat.

    "The women are ugly; they wear sandals in November and drink like fish."

    The Destination London programme has been organised by Professor Wendy Bracewell, the director of 'East Looks West' (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies) and by Tony White, Leverhulme Trust writer-in-residence at the School.

    It is funded by a bursary from the Beacons for Public Engagement through the UCL Unit for Public Engagement. It is also supported by UCL's Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction. For further reading, and to find out more about this programme of events, go to the links above.

    UCL Context

    The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is one of the world's leading specialist institutions, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe and Russia. More than 60 academic staff work at UCL SSEES, teaching and conducting research in the history, economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, culture, literature and languages of the countries of the region.

    SSEES has five interdisciplinary research centres and leads the inter-university Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS).

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