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"Small languages - big literatures"

12 March 2009 / 16:03:31  GRReporter
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For a seventh consecutive year, the forum “Small languages – big literatures” of the Leipzig Book Festival will take place in 2009. 21 authors from 19 countries will participate. They are already known in their own countries but not so much in Germany. Those authors will contribute to this holiday by reading their works and discussing them. The creations of those people are unknown mostly because the limited distribution in their written language.

The writers will be presented in couples and the criteria under which they are chosen is either similarities in the writing or the topic. The initial idea about the forum “Small languages – big literatures” comes from the Greek Cultural Foundation, which this year is sending the writer Nikos Temelis to represent Greece. He will read parts of his new book “The truths of others.”

On Friday, Nikos Temelis together with the Bulgarian Georgi Gospodinov and some of their colleagues from Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia will participate in a discussion called “Discovering the Balkans: Politics, history, and fabrications.” Georgi Gospodinov is author of poetry, fantasy, and literature and cultural researches. His “Natural novel” has been republished six times in Bulgaria and has been translated into nine languages including English, French, German, Czech, Dutch, Slovenian, and Italian.

Ever since the last wars in former Yugoslavia , the Balkans are “falling back to pre-industrial structures, unreason, and cruelty, or in other words – they are falling into a role, which is needed by the West, in order to be able to keep its right for enlightenment, tolerance, and progress.” Maria Todorova reached those extreme conclusions in her book “Imagining the Balkans” and this way provided idea exchange between writers, who work, live and are born on the Balkans.

Selected works from the whole festival will be presented on Monday in Berlin on the Literature Seminar.

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