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10/10/2019
Catalan Literature returns to the Frankfurter Buchmesse
Catalan Literature returns to the Frankfurter Buchmesse

• Stars of the publishing world will shine from 16 to 20 October

• Thirty-five publishers will be at the Catalan stand, which this year honours poet Joan Brossa

• The stand is just one of the ways in which the Ministry of Culture promotes Catalan literature and the internationalisation of its publishing industry

Catalan literature will once again be making an appearance at the Frankfurter Buchmesse. This year's stand, with the slogan Catalonia. Land of Books; Barcelona, City of Literature, will host a wide range of institutional representatives in addition to those from the publishing industry. A total of 35 Catalan entities will take part, along with the Ministry of Culture, the Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona City Council, the Publishers' Guild of Catalonia, and the Catalan Publishers' Association.

The aim of the stand, organised by the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC) and run jointly with Barcelona City Council and the Institut Ramon Llull, is to give attendees an overview of the industry in Catalonia and provide professionals with a business space in which to conduct their book fair activities with the greatest of ease.

This year's stand pays tribute to the poet Joan Brossa, as 2019 is the centenary year of his birth. Thanks to the collaboration of the Joan Brossa Foundation, which authorised the use of Brossa's images and has loaned various materials for the book fair, the stand will screen the poet's visual language with images of the letter 'A'. For Brossa, this was the most playful of all the letters, the beginning of everything, ever changing and ever constant.

In terms of industry representation, a total of 35 entities—publishes, associations and institutions—will be present. The publishing houses at the stand will be: 9 Grup Editorial, Almadraba Editorial, Angle Editorial, Animallibres Editorial, Bambú Editorial, Barcanova Editorial, Blume Editorial, Coco Books, Comanegra Editorial, Combel Editorial, Edicions Bromera, Eumo Editorial, Flamboyant Editorial, Gedisa, Grup 62, Grup Enciclopèdia, Marcombo, Mediterrània Editorial, Mosquito Books Barcelona, My Magic Story, Norma Editorial, Pagès Editors, Sentir, Som Ara Llibres, Tigre de Paper, Trípode Editorial, Universitat de Barcelona, Vegueta Ediciones, Voliana Edicions and Zahorí Books.

In order to reach an even wider audience, the ICEC has published a Catalan Arts – Books leaflet to distribute to accredited professionals.

Translation and minority languages take centre stage

The programme for the book fair includes two particularly noteworthy activities at which Catalan author and translator Bel Olid will be present.

The first is the round table meeting Literary Translation: profession, art, labour of love, which will discuss the working conditions facing literary translators today and the realities of the world of work, from visibility to contractual standards and remuneration. Speakers Lawrence Schimel, Bel Olid, Tanja Petric, Holger Fock and Tiziano Pérez will share their experiences and discuss the state of the translation industry today from their personal perspective. The meeting will be held on Friday, 18 October, in the Weltempfang Salon.

The second activity, titled Should we still speak about ‘small’ language literatures?, will look at the state of minority languages within the international literary panorama through two questions: what importance do they have within European literature and how do they make themselves visible beside dominant languages? Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Gabriele Haefs, Llŷr Gwyn Lewis and Bel Olid will take part in the round table discussion.

The Frankfurter Buchmesse, an international showcase for Catalan literature

The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the world's most important trade fair for books and media content. Attending this fair is a must for the majority of international publishers. Each year some 7,000 companies and publishers come from around the world to grace the book fair's various halls to reveal what's new and negotiate exploitation rights for works the world over.

Twelve years have passed since Catalan literature was the guest of honour at the 2007 Frankfurter Buchmesse, which marked a turning point in the number of translations of Catalan authors into other languages. Since then the international visibility of the Catalan publishing industry and Catalan culture's recognition abroad have only increased.

To maintain this trend, the Ministry of Culture takes part in the Frankfurter Buchmesse as part of its tireless efforts to promote Catalan literature and the publishing industry. In fact, the Ministry of Culture, through the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies and its internationalisation brand Catalan Arts - Books, regularly attends major professional publishing industry events like Germany's Frankfurter Buchmesse, including the Guadalajara International Book Fair (Mexico), the Bologna Children's Book Fair (Italy) and the London Book Fair (United Kingdom).

For its part, the Institut Ramon Llull has contributed to the increase in the translation of works through subsidies for translation, promotion, illustrated books, presence at book fairs, support for translators and cooperation with Catalan publishers and literary agencies. For 17 years this institute has worked to create a network of contacts from the international publishing industry (editors, translators, literary agents, cultural institutions, fairs and festivals) with the aim of promoting the works of Catalan authors abroad.In an effort to constantly improve and broaden its scope, each year the institute takes part in the world's most important industry trade fairs. At the fair in Frankfurt, the Institut Ramon Llull plans to hold over 150 meetings with international editors and agents, including a joint meeting with the European Network of Cultural Centres

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