In his essay for the Fabula 2016 Festival in Ljubljana the Belgian political scientist Peter Vermeersch describes an imposing picture of the changes in Europe: 500 refugees arrive in the village where he grew up in Belgium at the end of a journey via the Balkan route ().
Walter Grond recounts a successful dialogue of cultures at the Easter festival Imago Dei in Krems. An evening focused on meeting that simultaneously highlighted several background aspects of the conflict currently raging in the Middle East (Mediterranean Europe).
What better illustration of the European dilemma than the current debate about copyright: in legal terms the individual national context is basically structured as though it had European implications. The hard-won legal rights of literary copyright holders for financial reimbursement for their works, alongside the guarantee of freedom of speech, first facilitated the diversity of European literature.
Gerhard Ruiss begins the new blog series with an illustration of the copyright laws in Austria.
Literary Trends in Europe
Katja Petrovic reports on an initiative of European booksellers (What does Europe mean today?). To mark National Libraries Day Rosie Goldsmith advocates continued support of public libraries (Libraries Matter).
Judith Vonberg scrutinized the bestseller lists in several European countries and discovered which were bestselling novels in 2015 and where (Bestselling fiction across Europe).
West Camel introduces two new anthologies of European contemporary literature in Great Britain (Literary merit and contemporary themes: Best European Fiction 2016 & Essential New European Literature, Volume I. Katja Petrovic introduces the French publisher and translator Nicole Bary who publishes bilingual and bicultural authors (European literature?).
Judith Vonberg reports on the influence of British crime fiction on German culture (Love at First Sight: British Crime Fiction and the Germans) and a compelling dialogue between an Austrian and English writer (Variations on a theme). Rainer Moritz writes about the sympathetic and independent jury of the Leipzig Book Prize 2016 (The Favorites Are Dying Out).
Peter Zimmermann’s contribution launches a new series in the Observatory for Contemporary European Literature. From 2016, the focus of special interest is individual writers, in each case from a transnational and cross-linguistic perspective: a) How are writers whose works have been translated into other languages received in their home country and in those locations where their translations are published? b) Which important writers still have works to be translated? To what extent are they important in their countries and language areas? (Peter Handke and His Reception in the German-speaking World).
Innovation in the digital field
Renata Zamida focuses on various e-book subscription models (E-book Subscription models: What works for the readers drags down the business), and Marco Hercog on the question of a standardized e-book format (How to prepare an e-book to be readable on all devices?).