Sunday, 19 July 2009

Meet the Germans - 2

An editorial in Books from Finland notes that Finland is to be the "theme country" at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2014.

...a troupe of Finnish writers will go to Germany to meet not just publishers at the Fair in October but the general public and new readers (as well as old, in many cases, as a fair number of Finnish books have been translated into German during the past few years) at readings and lectures: they and their books will get plenty of international attention all year, as literary publicity at Frankfurt is centred round the chosen country.

Another group of Finnish writers will visit Germany next year (2010) as part of a Festival of Finnish Literature organized by Germany's Literaturhaus network in 2010, preparations for which have already begun (see in this blog Meet the Germans).

Finland and Germany (both East and West) have long had close cultural relations, and during the 1930s Finnish authors like Olavi Paavolainen spent a good deal of time in the country - without, however, succumbing to the national mystique.

As we've already observed, Iceland (also a country with long-standing links to Germany) will be Frankfurt's Guest of Honour in 2011.

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

The Frankfurt Book Fair certainly helps boost the presence of smaller literatures on the world market. For instance, Lithuanian literature benefited a good deal from the Frankfurt market exposure. Iceland and Finland are better known in English-speaking book circles, but being Guest of Honour can do no harm.

Talking of links between Finland and Germany, Helsinki University Library has published, at least up to 2007, an annual digest of articles and excepts of Finnish literary works translated into German, the Jahrbuch für finnisch-deutsche Literaturbeziehungen. There is a Deutsche Bibliothek in Helsinki.

Anyway, 2014 is far enough away for those of us that translate from Finnish or Finland-Swedish to have time to gear up, should Finnish publishers want excerpts in English for Frankfurt.