February began for me in Barcelona and March begins in Ljubljana. Barcelona in order to familiarize myself with the fascinating work of the Institut Ramon Lull and its promotion of Catalan language, arts, literature and translation (UK website). And of course I stopped off to see Miro and Gaudi (see photos!)
This week I’m in Ljubljana to attend the fabulous‘Fabula’ Literature Festival and to meet with its Director, the equally fabulous Renata Zamida, one of our ELIT partners. You recall ELIT? Based in Austria and spearheading a Europe-wide‘Literature House’ project, both virtually and in reality. The reality is that we are holding our annual ELIT Partners meeting here in Slovenia.
Once again the talk of funding tops the agenda. At European Literature Network we await with bated breath to find out whether we will receive a second grant from Arts Council England for 2016, as well as a second year of ELIT funding from Creative Europe. Both grants made our work in 2015 in the UK both possible and productive. Cross fingers. Whatever the outcomes, our virtual website work will continue, as well as our free real events in London. Topping the bill – very topically topping it thanks to the UK-EU Referendum – #CultureMatters: Euro Stars, 27th April – and what a starry line-up! and European Literature Night, British Library, May 11th, with many related ELN events – and, we hope, a special ELN Magazine. The ELN authors for May 11th will be announced this March.
All news and events are on our website. And for those of you (members only) who plan very far ahead, do put June 13th in your diaries. There’ll be a day of free workshops on the funding, PR and performance of international literature and our next ELNetwork meeting that evening.
So once again it’s been a wonderfully rich European month: I’ve ‘travelled through’ the literatures of Catalonia and Spain; of Italy, revisiting one of my all-time favourite writersUmberto Eco who died in February, as well as hosting our Italian Women’s Writers event for new friends Waterstones Piccadilly and Calisi Press; through Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Swedish at the celebratory Society Of Authors Translation Prizes, and finally, of Russia – watching the TV adaptation, and re-reading, the supreme War and Peace. If you’ve been reading – or contributing to – our monthly online #RivetingReviews you’ll have seen my interview with War and Peace translator Anthony Briggs.
Finally, with our March reviews and website in mind, a quick note to inform you that I will be in the USA until mid-April. My wonderful colleagueWest Camel is standing in for me, supported by the ever-wonderful Anna Blasiakcontact@eurolitnetwork.com. Yes, I’m deserting Europe for a while but I’ll be back with a vengeance – because #EuropeMatters!
By Rosie Goldsmith