Spain is looking for a literary catapult in Frankfurt

31 years ago, the Spanish book industry moved to Frankfurt, the world’s most important international exhibition dedicated to the publishing business, to convince Europe that a language as strong as Spanish must necessarily live up to these expectations. This is the spirit Spain’s return to Buschmisi in 2022. Re-persuasive because there is still a huge gap to fill: Spanish is, in fact, an untranslated language compared to its strong presence of speakers in the world. From this Wednesday until next Sunday, Spain will again be the guest country in Frankfurt, with the founding presence of the King, Queen, Felipe and Letizia, and a budget of 12 million euros for the operation taking place since 2019 This includes not only the usual official translation assistance, favored by publishers, but also the launch of a specific Acción Cultural Española (ACE) program through which 450 works have been translated. By the end of 2022, there will be 150 German-language editions this year alone.

In seminars on the state of translation that took place recently Converse Formentor In Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, last September, some important statements were made about the presence of Spanish businesses in the publishing world. For example, in France, the country most translated from Spanish, books translated from this language account for 3%. Here it must be specified that this proportion includes the powerful writers of Latin America who, in general, the European edition pays more attention than the Spanish. Put this Spanish data in Fifth place among the most translated languages ​​in the worldWhich represents a historical setback in the ranking. And in those same days, the Austrian translator and journalist Margit Knapp noted the weight loss that Spanish literature had suffered on the German market: “In the last 25 years we have discovered many more Italian and French authors than Spanish authors.”. There he decided to attack the Spanish landing in Frankfurt directly and forcefully.

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“The Spanish presence at the fair – confirms that the general manager of the book, María José Gálvez, is not exhausted in the economic benefits it can bring us. We have worked with publishers, cultural agents and journalists and with bilateral missions that have brought German publishers to Spain and vice versa, and have expanded this exchange to include Libraries and Distribution.The idea is to take this model to other countries”.

The exhibition program includes a program filled with 50 round tables, various exhibitions of contemporary art and theatrical, dance and musical performances, among which are the attendance of Elche baby also Silvia Perez Cruz. Much of this extended culture wants to honor the energetic motto of Spanish existence: “creative surplus”. This is why the artistic representation presented has a strong tone of modernity and informal culture.

It is known that the recently deceased Javier Marías – who will be paid homage to Buschmeisi – was one of the most sought-after authors in German bookshops. beside him Edward MendozaAnd the Almudena GrandesAnd the Carlos Ruiz ZafonAnd the Enrique Villa MatasAnd the Arturo Perez ReffertyAnd the James Capri s Fernando Aramburu Who lives in Germany and appears frequently in the country’s media. What is being sought now is to replenish the catalogs with new names that have been recently merged or will find a way to do so in the coming years. They are like names Christina MoralesAnd the Sarah tableAnd the Katexa AguirreAnd the Arua Moreno DuranAnd the Irene SolaAnd the Anna BalbonaAnd the Elizabeth Duval also Mikui Otero.

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Cherries instead of bulls

Editors and readers will necessarily recognize the big difference between the 1991 edition – which brought the necessary touch of modernity to a culture not seen as such – and the current panorama. On that occasion, Alfredo Arribas recreated a bullring enclosure with Alberu rescued from the bullring. In the current 2,000 square meter Spanish pavilion, the grotesque theme and a Concept taken from Carmen Martin GaiteCherry Theory, which will project a visual hypertext on the walls of the venue, in a way that the cherries intertwine, will connect the words, languages ​​and stories that are poured into the conference.

The publishing scene in the past is also significantly different. In those times of pre-Olympic excitement, Planeta’s group didn’t have the muscle it shows today. Not even Grijalbo Mondadori was close to the power currently held by the Penguin Random House. Of course, small publishers did not appear, in a number of about 450, and they constitute today a file Biodiversity It has no equal in civilized countries such as France or Great Britain. “Many of these stamps – says Daniel Fernandez, president of the Federation of Publishers Syndicate of Spain – transformed our copy into a form Cultural activity in a time of relatively good editorial health& rdquo;. Fernandez himself has seen how, despite the emergence of new technologies, the book as we know it does not seem to have been replaced by other mediums.


The Ministry of Culture also intends to flaunt linguistic diversity – in 1991 it was hardly a certificate – as these conferences will be attended by the three official languages, Catalan, Basque and Galician, as well as Babylonian or Gypsy.

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And of course, despite the big push that 91 represented, 2022 will have to level the ground again, if not lost, rather than not achieve at the rate we maintained at the time. “The Spanish language is our oil – Fernandez compares – and we didn’t know how to seriously support and preserve it, because there is Objective ignorance of Spanish literature in the world& rdquo;. It warns of how remarkable it is with the huge number of Hispanic students present in different countries of the world, There are not as many translations in Spanish literature as there are in the world. To solve this problem, he says, we need more decisive public policies. The Instituto Cervantes is doing its job, but we will need more classes and literature classes that encourage the attraction of Spanish authors into the world. To this work we must add the PERTE Language Recovery Programme, funded by the European Union, about 1100 million euros, which is also working in this direction, with Cristina Gallach at its head. When the pomp of Frankfurt is over, we’ll have to make an assessment.

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