European Literature Days 2016: The Colonists

In the unique ambiance of Wachau, Europe’s literary protagonists meet in autumn for a weekend of discussions, networking and presentations as well as to gain deeper insights into European literature.

The European Literature Days comprise a symposium with invited and accredited participants. The focus is on themes chosen annually and presented by the Observatory for European Contemporary Literature, as well as public readings and discussions with European writers, film screenings and concerts.

The programme includes workshops and readings for a young audience in schools and at the Karikaturmuseum Krems. The collaborative work with the European Literature Youth Meetings enriches the European Literature Days thanks to innovative forms of contact with literature.

From 3 to 6 November international writers and literary experts convene for the eighth successive year in Wachau. They share ideas about contemporary issues in literature and society.

Europe, the Colonists and why writers attract interest? A writer intervenes and warns of a new upsurge of nationalism in Europe. He reflects on transnational democracy as an alternative to exclusion and conflict. To introduce the European Literature Days 2016, Robert Menasse – arguably the homme de lettres – invites Berlin-based political scientist Ulrike Guérot to a debate in the Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche. The focus is founding Europe as a Republic. Linguistic clarity and intelligent thinking counteract the current climate of depression. The European Literature Days 2016 Symposium also poses relevant up-to-the-minute questions and assembles leading writers from Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Last year’s European Literature Days headline theme The Migrants is followed by The Colonizers. This socio-political and cultural subject can be approached thanks to the profound contributions of contemporary novels. The introductory lecture is presented by Hans Christoph Buch, probably the most anti-provincial of German writers, a doyen among cosmopolitans who is “driven tirelessly by curiosity for the world”, in the words of the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Other discussion topics apart from Europe and the colonists include: How can literature retain its profile in the digital media age? What creates interest in writers and their books? Where is European literary life heading? Rüdiger Wischenbart coordinates a panel discussion with leading publishers, media ex – perts and writers on these issues that were recently highlighted in an insightful study. British journalist Lucy Popescu reports on an unusual financing model for an exceptional literary project about asylum seekers. Anja Kovač introduces Versepolis – a new European web journal for poetry, books and culture.

The Symposium is accompanied by literary readings, musical interludes, walks and wine tastings. The event venues are schools, the Karikaturmuseum Krems and most of the discussions are held at Schloss Spitz. European literature, Spitz wines and world-class jazz.

The full programme of the European Literature Days can be found here. More information here.

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