ELNet September 2020 Newsletter by Rosie Goldsmith: “La Rentrée”

C’est La Rentrée – translated (for these purposes) as “We’re back! You’re back! Schools are back! Books are back!” On this one day alone, as many as 600 books will be published. Sacré bleu! In France, la Rentrée Littéraire has long been a cultural phenomenon at this time but with Covid publishing delays even in Brexit-UK we are now adopting this European practice. Go figure.

It’s the Rentrée for so many of us, in so many ways, as we enter a new era, finding the courage to venture forth, with our masks and hand sanitisers, lipsticks stuffed away at bottoms of handbags (for the time being – fear not: my red lipstick will also return). We’re not pretending – this autumn is going to be tough but, as always, we’ll do our best to lift your spirits. 

How about these literary footwarmers?

Starting with French literature and the “real Rentrée”: the extensive and excellent contributions from all of you to our French Book Week, created originally in July to showcase the brilliant BCLT Summer School but relevant now and for ever.

The great Elena Ferrante has returned with her novel The Lying Lives of Adults. It’s outstanding and devastating, launched in English on Sept 1st, thanks to translator Ann Goldstein and Europa Editions. You may recall that it was Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet that inspired me to start our Riveting Reviews, because I needed a forum to sound off about European literature. We’re still going strong in our 5th year, thanks to your excellent reviews and to our exceptional editor, West Camel. I’ll be reviewing Ferrante in November. Why November, why so late ? – you may well ask! Good question, but even better answer: this September and October we will be showcasing bountiful amounts of dazzling Romanian literature in English on our reviews pages. On September 24th and 30th, in both Timișoara and London, physically and virtually, we will be launching The Romanian Riveter, the first-ever magazine dedicated to Romanian literature in English – a sad but proud boast.  Details here.

Each Riveter magazine grows and amazes me. There is no publication like it. I can’t imagine my life without our reviews, our magazines, our Network – but – incredibly – we still have no funding, no financial future. But we struggle on, as I know so many of you do too. Plans are now afoot for The Dutch Riveter, our next literary extravaganza, publication date Feb 2021. We start commissioning this month. Enormous thanks to the Dutch Literature Foundation for funding us. Ofcourse it helps that a wondrous Dutch novel won the International Booker Prize in August.

And don’t forget to check in every month with our pioneering, informative, inspired, original, superb columns, The Italianist from Katherine Gregor and Poetry Travels with Anna Blasiak.

Do get in touch with news of your events (physical and virtual), ideas, blogs, requests and photos – we have returned! Nous sommes rentrés!

Love, Rosie the (Returned) Riveter

Category: ELNet Newsletters


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