The Slovenia Times

Nomadic Writers in Focus of 27th Vilenica Literary Festival


Programming head Gašper Troha told the press on Tuesday that the main part of the 27th festival, which already organised some events this year, will focus on the author's position, which is no longer specified solely by their nationality, but rather by their individual poetics and fate.

The main topic will be discussed at the Central European Initiative (CEI) panel by four guests, who, for various reasons, write abroad and in a language that is not their native one.

The panel will also be attended by this year's Vilenica Prize winner David Albahari, who has lived and worked in Canada since emigrating from Serbia during the 1990s.

Albahari, who is of Jewish origin, was fighting for the freedom of the written word already in the 1980s, noted Veno Taufer, the head of the Slovenian Writers' Association, which co-organises the Vilenica festival with the Cultural Centre Vilenica.

While writers had fought against the authoritative regime in the 1980s, it now seems that authoritarianism is trying to fight its way into the written word with rude attacks on writers, Taufer added.

The festival was complemented by a reading by Israel's Amos Oz in March and a presentation of Slovenian translations of last year's prize winner Mircea Cartarescu's short stories "Why We Love Women" and collection of poetry "Motorno kolo, parkirano pod zvezdami" (Motorbike Parked Under the Stars).

The Slovenian author in focus this year will be Boris A. Novak, whose poetry collection "Mojster nespečnosti" (The Master of Insomnia) was translated into English and published by US publisher Dalkey Archive Press in the Slovenian Literature Series collection.

Apart from the 42 authors, the festival will be attended by a number of publishers, editors, literary agents, translators and others, with Troha stressing that "nobody will regret coming".

This year's Vilenica hosted for the first time three writing and translation residencies throughout August, with special attention given to Irish and Italian authors and translators.

The annual collection Vilenica Anthologies will feature an anthology of contemporary Hebrew literature, entitled En zo agada (This Is not a Fairytale). The book will feature works of 25 authors selected by editor and translator Klemen Jelinčič Boeta.

Apart from the CEI panel, Vilenica will also host the 10th International Comparative Literature Colloquium, running under the motto "The Spatial Turn in Literary Studies" and moderated by Marijan Dović in Jernej Habjan.

Ajla Terzić of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose short stories and essays have won her a number of awards, will meanwhile receive this year's scholarship.

The highlight of the festival will be the presentation of the Vilenica Prize to Albahari in the Vilenica cave on the final day of the festival.

Apart from the grand prize, the organisers will also give out the Vilenica Crystal for the best contribution to the Vilenica 2012 Almanac, which was published today.


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