THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN LIBRARY was launched at the International Cultural Centre in 2009, and the first book published in the series was "The Lesson of Central Europe" [Lekcja Europy Środkowej] by Csaba G. Kiss. Professor Jacek Purchla, the founder of the ICC, its long-term director, as well as the initiator and editor of this series, wrote that its main goal is to capture various cultural phenomena taking place in an area where political borders change much faster than culture, heritage, and memory of past.
This dichotomy is the driving force behind the series, as well as its main point of interest, because each of its books tries to illuminate Central Europe from various perspectives, taking as a starting point either a specific country and its history, or a particular problem, a selected phenomenon taking place across borders, involving many countries.
18 titles have been published in this series so far, including books on Croatia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Hungary, Budapest and Lviv. The series also includes essays by eminent intellectuals who root their reflection in this part of the world – Emil Brix’s "Central Europe Revisited: Essays and Sketches", Emil Brix and Erhard Busk’s "A New Look at Central Europe" (translated by Anna Śliwa), Krzysztof Czyżewski’s "Towards Xenopolis", Simona Škrabec’s "Imaginary Geography: Concepts of Central Europe in the 20th Century”, as well as Larry Wolff's “Inventing Eastern Europe” and “The Idea of Galicia”.
THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN LIBRARY series includes books representing non-fictional literature, combining a cultural essay with a historical treatise, smoothly moving between genres, offering a thick description and multi-level diagnosis.
The role of the books published in this series is to examine the differences, but also to connect, encourage reflection, record the extraordinary rapidness of changes, build a dialogue, while also keeping the voices of all actors operating on the Central European stage separate and distinct.