By Corina Ciobanu
The “Gaudeamus” International Book Fair, taking up a 14,000 sq m-surface in Bucharest’s Romexpo complex and enjoying a record number of participants this year, kicked off yesterday, tempting book-lovers with the latest offers of over 400 Romanian and foreign publishers. Over 650 book launches, as well as other special events, are to take place until Sunday, when the fair closes. The event was opened for the first time ever by a Bach mini-recital. “This year’s figures are nothing short of miraculous,” the executive director of the fair, Vlad Epstein, stated before the inauguration. “International participation is growing by the year,” he added.
Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu and the chairman of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society, Andras Istvan Demeter, were among the participants in the opening ceremony.
“Books have been our refuge from the alienation that is slowly engulfing the world,” Oprescu argued in his speech, mentioning the Bucharest Mayor’s Office’s support of the event. Italy is the guest of honour of this year’s edition and the importance the Italian side grants to the event was confirmed by the presence of Marco Polillo, chairman of the Italian Publishers’ Association, RAI representative Marco Simeon, director of the Italian television’s Institutional and International Relations department, Mario Cospito, the Italian ambassador in Bucharest, and Italian writer, actor and director Luciano de Crescenzo, the honorary president of the fair. The French Ambassador in Bucharest Henri Paul inaugurated yesterday the French Embassy’s and the French Institute’s bookstall. The French writers Pierre Assouline, Roger Grenier and Lorenzo Mattotti also attended the inauguration of the stand, bearing the symbolic title “Café Litteraire”.
Yesterday, the Humanitas bookstall hosted the launch of “La mort des Ceausescu. La verite sur un coup d’etat communiste” (The Death of the Ceausescus. The Truth about a Communist Coup d’Etat) by Catherine Durandin, graced with the participation of the author.
A keenly-awaited guest at Gaudeamus is the journalist Pierre Jovanovic, who will attend today the launch of his three books, translated into Romanian. His latest book, “Blythe Masters”, draws the portrait of the most powerful woman on the planet, a banker from JP Morgan, who led the banks to bankruptcy by inventing the instruments for the transfer of insolvency risks. In an ironic and colourful style, Pierre Jovanovic discloses the real causes of the unprecedented economic disaster the world is going through and warns us to dangers looming in the near future.
Another highlight on today’s programme is a meeting meant to commemorate the writer Mircea Nedelciu, co-founder of the Gaudeamus Fair. On this occasion the audio-book “Mircea Nedelciu citeste ‘Ora spre zero si alte proze’”, coming out at the Casa Radio Publishing House (the “Lecturi pe intuneric” Collection, will also be launched.