jueves, 19 de agosto de 2010
Buenos Aires International Book Fair looks to the future through the past
Buenos Aires serves up the highest density of booksellers per square metre - and a vibrant publishing scene. At the country’s own annual book fair in Buenos Aires the buzz was all about its Guest of Honour appearance in Frankfurt.
By Liz Bury
Argentina’s celebration of 200 years of independence in 2010 will be marked in Europe through its participation as Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair.
The country’s writers and its literary heritage will be brought into the international spotlight. President Cristina Kirchner is right behind the project which also aims to strengthen political and economic bonds between Argentina and the world. The Argentine publishers’ pavilion will be 450 square metres, and there will be other spaces for exhibitions within the Book Fair; outside it, events are scheduled in Frankfurt and Berlin.
The aim is to use the Frankfurt Book Fair as a springboard to make an impact on the wider European scene. The Argentine minister of foreign affairs Jorge Taiana and the secretary for human rights Eduardo Luis Duhalde will speak at a two-day symposium in Brussels in May, which is designed to promote discussion of Argentine culture and politics, and to look at the changing relationship between Latin America and Europe. During the early part of the 20th Century many Europeans emigrated to Argentina, and this influence can be seen in its culture, its literature and in the population of the city of Buenos Aires.
At the country’s own annual book fair in Buenos Aires, the talk was all about Frankfurt. The question on everybody’s lips was who will be attending Frankfurt in October, with many publishers and authors hoping for sponsorship. It is expected that 45 Argentine writers will travel to Frankfurt for the Book Fair.
Five anthologies of Argentine literature are being produced. They are: short stories, poetry, essays, children’s literature and a collection of works by disappeared writers or from books banned under the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s.
Ambassador Magdalena Faillace, who is in charge of Argentina’s participation at Frankfurt, says that a new generation of writers is blossoming. She points to, for example, El secreto de sus ojos, the film based on Eduardo Sacheri’s novel La pregunta de sus ojos, which won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards in March 2010.
Faillace says: "We are a young country remembering 200 years of history. The Argentine present is looking back to the military putsch in 1976. These dramatic issues are still in our novels, the arts and all media."
The anthologies will cover a broad range of writing dating back more than 100 years, with many works being translated into English for the first time. The poetry collection is being edited by Daniel Samoilovich and includes 40 Argentine poets born between 1892 and 1951. Poems by Oliverio Girondho, for example, will be translated for the first time. The anthology of short stories, edited by Sylvia Iparraguirre, will follow a similar pattern, beginning with works written at the start of the 20th Century, up to more recent stories.
It is hoped that the anthologies will promote cultural exchange between Argentina and Europe, and encourage the buying and selling of rights among foreign publishers.