British ambassador in Bucharest Andrew James Noble said on Wednesday that the opening of the Bookfest International Book Fair takes place just a few days after convincing proof was delivered of the vitality and resilience of Romania’s democratic and judiciary system.
“We have the precious opportunity to celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom to write what we want as individuals in the 30th year since the fall of communism in Romania, and thirdly, this book fair opens just a few days after convincing proof was delivered of the vitality and resilience of Romania’s democratic and judiciary system”, Andrew James Noble said at the fair opening ceremony at the Romexpo exhibition center, featuring over 400 events organized by more than 150 exhibitors, and 1,000,000 books of which 4,000 editorial novelties.
Referring to another aspect of the social and political context of the event, which renders this important moment even more intense, the British diplomat pointed out that “Brexit is only one facet of Great Britain.”
“Many are talking about the political situation in the UK, which is hard to understand. Brexit is only one facet of Great Britain. As you will see today, the British presence demonstrates the vitality and richness of my country that has resisted and will resist any political phenomenon. (…) Therefore, these days are a great time to celebrate the freedom of the book world. Thank you, and I invite you to rediscover a country you already know”, said the ambassador.
He also emphasized that for the United Kingdom, the participation in Bookfest is an opportunity to celebrate diversity in literature, to reiterate the role of culture in the dialogue between countries and between different identities.
“I am convinced that the British presence at Bookfest will provide the visitors with an unprecedented experience through the variety of guest authors, as well as through the organization of more than 50 workshops, debates, screenings and events devoted to the book. Even though the British literary scene is well-known, with a wide range of globally known writers, for me and my dear colleagues from the British Council the importance of the British presence resides in the unexpected appearance. We will present the Romanian public modern literature, a literature inspired by the diversity of my country, a literature in which voices from all over the world are heard and where each of the visitors will be exposed to a new way of thinking and a new way of living together. A literature carried by feminine voices. I am especially glad that we have nine British authors invited to Bookfest, who come with one-off stories and life pages”, said Andrew Noble.
French Ambassador Michele Ramis: Book, major expression tool, at heart of events
French Ambassador to Romania Michele Ramis said on Wednesday at Bookfest that lying at the heart of the events of the France – Romania Season is the book, a major expression tool meant to increase the strong ties between the two countries.
“The book is a major expression instrument that has been able to make strong ties between our countries grow and the book was also at the origins of the French Institute in Bucharest, which many of us still call the French Library. Many authors, writers, playwrights – Cioran, Ionesco, Eliade, Panait Istrate, Tzara – of Romanian origin living in France, are outstanding personalities of our culture, many of them even became French and are part of our common heritage. During the Season, the book is at the center events in both France and Romania. Romania has been honored at the Book Fair in Paris and France is significantly present at the Book Fair in Bucharest. It is also the case of the Festival of Crime Fiction in Lyon, which will have a similar event to be held next week in Bucharest,” the French diplomat said at the opening ceremony of the 14th edition of the Bookfest International Book Fair.
Michele Ramis added that “the French Institute in France, the International Bureau of French Publishing and the French Bookstore Kyralina joined together to attend the Bookfest and to present to all professionals and the general Romanian public a representative selection of contemporary French literature.”
“The partnership between these three institutions promises to come up with the most complete offers, including debates, roundtables, professional meetings and book launch,” the ambassador of France said.
In his turn, the Minister of Culture and National Identity Valer-Daniel Breaz showed that “promoting reading remains a constant necessity in contemporary society.”
“Promoting reading remains a constant imperative in today’s society, and in this context we welcome the wide range of activities aimed at the youngest readers and at pupils of all ages, as well as the numerous meetings of readers with reputed authors in open dialogues,” said Breaz, in a message conveyed at the event by Secretary of State Alexandru Pugna.
In the context of the Romania-France Season, the French Institute, together with the International Bureau of French Publishing (BIEF) and the Kyralina Bookstore, invited the audience to discover at the Bookfest the Lire la France stand, the organizers proposing a catalog of 1,000 titles covering all literary spheres.
Various literary events, roundtables, debates or workshops will be attended by authors such as Didier Decoin (Goncourt Academy secretary general and Goncourt Prize laureate in 1977), Sophie Brocas (author of a novel inspired by a famous sculpture by Constantin Brancusi “Le Baiser” / The Kiss / Sarutul), Romain Dutter (author of a comic book illustrating post-1989 Romania), Anne-Claire Leveque (author of literature for young people) and Celine Raphael (a doctor of medicine, the author of books dealing with the subject of family violence among children).
The Lire la France stand will also benefit from the presence of representatives of major French publishing houses: Stock, Galimard Jeunesse, Hachette Jeunesse, Denoel, Fleurus, La Decouverte, Syndicat National de l’Edition.