"In an age of crisis of values and painful despair, he stood firmly by his principles: in art - the canon of beauty, hierarchy, and craftsmanship, in life - codes of ethics clearly distinguishing between good and evil. [...] To the Polish language he brought a formula-commandment - the words "Badz wierny Idz / Be faithful Go".The motto of the YEAR is the quotation "We mnie jest płomień, który myśli / Inside me is a flame which thinks" from the poem NAPIS / INSCRIPTION.
The National Library (Palace of the Republic, Plac Krasińskich in Warsaw) will hold 10 monthly Herbertian Debates. The debates will be open to the general public, and will be devoted to different aspects of the poet's life and work, including the reception of his works in Europe, his fascination with antiquity, his travels, his attachment to traditional patriotism, his involvement in political and social matters, his spirituality etc. The primary aim of the debates is to continue Herbert's thought - invited panellists will explore the topics and themes which were especially close to Herbert's heart:"Herbert-Norwid" exhibition
1st debate - 27 February 2008, Herbert a polskość / Herbert and Polishness 2nd debate - 12 March 2008, Czy poeta może być filozofem? / Can a poet be a philosopher? 3rd debate - 9 April 2008, Celan czy Eliot? / Celan or Eliot? 4th debate - 28 May 2008, Czy poetę trzeba wygnać z państwa? / Does a poet have to be driven out of the state? 5th debate - 11 June 2008, Dokąd prowadzi Hermes? / Where is Hermes leading? 6th debate - 10 September 2008, Skąd te głosy? Herbert w teatrze / Where are the voices coming from? Herbert in theatre 7th debate - 10 September 2008, Duchowa geografia Europy / The spiritual geography of Europe - the debate has been cancelled 8th debate - 15 October 2008, Czemu wyraz sztuka daje? / What does art express? Debate with an exhibition of paintings inspired by Herbert's life and work 9th debate - 12 November 2008, Literatura i metafizyka / Literature and metaphysics 10th debate - 3 December 2008, Kochanowski czy Słowacki? / Kochanowski or Słowacki?
This exhibition, held under the patronage of the Polish President, is the first presentation of drawings by Cyprian Kamil Norwid and Zbigniew Herbert from the National Library collection. The exhibition will be on display at the Palace of the Republic (Plac Krasińskich 3/5) in April and May 2008 (April 26 - May 17, 2008, every day 10:00 am - 6:00 pm). It will also be open to the public during the May Night of Museums (May 17/18, 2008), an event prepared by the Warsaw City Administration.
On 26 July 2008, two days before the 10th anniversary of the poet's death, there will be a several-hour outdoor performance and a multimedia show on the façade of the Palace of the Republic, Plac Krasińskich in Warsaw.
A three-day international scientific conference has been prepared for 11-12 December 2008, two years after the National Library received the poet's legacy, organized by the National Library, the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Book Institute, devoted to Herbert and in particular to the reception of his work in Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe (including Lithuania, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany, etc.), Western Europe, and America.
This exhibition will be opened in conjunction with the international scientific conference in December 2008, and will present - for the first time - the Zbigniew Herbert Archive now housed in the National Library. The exhibition will be accompanied by a presentation of the "Zbigniew Herbert Archive Inventory". Starting from December 2008, the Herbert collection will gradually start being made available to literary researchers.
The premiere of a full-length production based on Herbert's poetry and directed by Piotr Cieplak has been planned for December 2008 at the Teatr Narodowy (National Theatre). The show will remain in the theatre's regular repertoire.