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The book world will be digital, but…



In 1996 when the word CD Seems to be the new bible of books, an army of rumors has grown strong in Frankfurt They declare that this centenary object made of paper had its days numbered. It was to be in the net like many other electronic beings that were already flying into the aether.

Soon after it was decreed (also in Germany, by some university experts) that the paper newspaper would expire in 2023, precisely, on that occasion, in the middle of the last century, the book was to be read only in the many digital alternatives that attracted the market Already.

Came right away Steve Jobs To introduce the devices that would have replaced the old book and that year’s fair began to chart a future that would affect dealerships, booksellers, and authors, and that of course would end the Frankfurt Fair as we knew it until then.

Years passed, Frankfurt welcomed all those innovations that did not cease to exist, although the CD, this symbol, went down the ravine of history. But the book, that old stranger, still stands above all the announcements of his death.

Countries that don’t mix

As this old literary proverb says, “The dead you kill are healthy.” And this can be said, after the pandemic that closed this (book) fair for two seasons, one of the publishers who attended, for example, what was to be the first German coronation of Spanish writers in 1991.

she is Michy StraussfeldGerman, worked in Spain with Jaime Salinas When he was a manager faguareIn his second period after taking care of the brothers sila. Salinas commissioned Straussfeld for what would be the most influential collection of children’s and young adults’ books in Spanish publishing history. In addition, she was the lead (in Germany, where she worked with the strong surkamp) for some famous literary world in Latin America Yellow Butterflies and Dictator Princes (discussion), In recognition of the influence this literature had before and after the “boom”, it is considered one of the our, A Spanish from Latin America.

Discussion tables were held on the future of literature and public morals between Spanish authors and their German colleagues […] Now, the Spaniards are talking among themselves”

It was here when Spanish writers presented their credentials in Frankfurt in 1991. Here the “Literature of Democracy” was introduced, and Salinas was responsible for all of it, as general manager of the book, after his first term in Alfaguara. He promoted something that Straussfeld is missing in this edition of the leading Spanish role in Frankfurt: Discussion tables were held on the future of literature and public morals between Spanish authors and their German colleaguesAfter the series of encounters between German writers and Spanish writers that took place six years earlier between authors of both nationalities.

Now, upset about it, these encounters did not take place, Spaniards talk to each otherand this can be seen in meeting rooms and in the corridors, where we Spaniards gather as if we were on the streets of Barcelona, ​​Madrid or Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to name just three possibilities for our country.

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He speaks in this case with anger and sadness. Well, although the guest is Spain, the logic of the fate of the language requires that whenever it is celebrated, all the literatures in which it is written should be united. He asserts with the arguments of his book that Spanish literature will not be understood without what people like OnettiAnd the RolfAnd the Vargas Llosa also Gabriel Gracia Marquez. That was the spirit bubble, Whose friend belongs to too Julio Cortazarbut this time the Spanish organization found no way to accommodate this miraculous pairing that made (Mitchie Strausfeld says again) Spaniards (of Spain) a better literature.

About this alliance, which was not possible this time at least, the Minister of Culture later spoke enthusiastically, Mikel Isita. The future of Spanish (and digital Spanish, online, which he and Cervantes director and later Vice President Calvino talked about) cannot be understood without America as an integral part of the language we speak. Mitchie Straussfeld was shocked by this The contrast between the pan-American ambition demanded by the language secretary and the lack of writers from that continent at the fair.It consists of eight authors.

The world will be digital, but … Here, seekers of foreign lessons in the fair, Spanish booksellers, of the four cardinal points, young and old authors, veterans of the fair with their bags, books and notebooks. “This has been a fair reunion after three years without it coming due to the pandemic. It was a pleasure to meet again with international publishers and agents we haven’t seen in person in a long time,” he said on Friday. Idoia MollThe director of the publishing house Alba is optimistic and happy despite the fact that they have noticed a decrease in the number of international exhibitors compared to previous years. After this count, in the Frankfurt wings everywhere the paper that was about to expire (in 2023 for newspapers: Italian journalist Eugenio Scalvary He asked when exactly the presses would stop that year) once the CD was created, he didn’t give up, and in fact there is a clear air of paper (from book paper) in the activities we attend.

first swords

Sergio del MolinoFor example, I came here to talk about his book on Empty Spain, although there are many anniversaries of this work that have earned him international and German fame; They ask him for autographs and invite him everywhere to tell us about that side of Spain that is drying up, perhaps, in 1991, when Almudena Grandes also Javier Mariastwo great authors summoned by the Spanish part of the exhibition have now disappeared in two sensational tributes.

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The world here is digital and paper. There are few authors on paper like Arturo Perez-Revertewhich is also one more paper sells in Spain and among Spaniards also in Germany and mldr; Sergio Villa Sanjuanjournalist, narrator, supplement manager cultures From vanguard He gave an interview to the public at the Frankfurt fair. Perez reminded Reverte of the last date that the author of the series did Atrest I made it to this paper world (which would have been completely digital).

The Voices of Fear had already appeared in the old book, and it was 1998, and Perez Riverty came with the backpack to talk about it European way to the best seller with his English colleague Ken Follett… “Of course this road flourished, as Best seller As part of the high quality literature that has been produced and maintained. It came from fatigue (as he said Jorge Luis Borges) many good family bookshops, and her literary culture (which is European) is a mixture born within her family: “My grandmother was a bestseller and my grandfather was a more literary and a classic.”

This is how Pérez-Reverte was done, and this is how he presented himself on that occasion which is now twenty-four years ago. At that exact moment, while they spoke Spanish and English, he was known in the world, and in that gallery still made of paper, Joseph Saramago has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. author Article on blindness He was at the fair and was coming back to him from the airport. The uproar (also from paper) that occurred in Frankfurt did not affect the debate about European way to a best seller. That route won, of course, said Perez-Reverte yesterday. “You just have to see, Sergio, what he was able to do Umberto Eco& rdquo;.

On the other side of the place where Pérez-Reverte spoke with Vila Sanjuán, there was immediately further evidence that CD Rom could not even with Spain’s most classic literary monument, Literary Agent Carmen Balsilswho inaugurated the agency sector before the ‘boom’, put herself at the service of that phenomenon which might one day be reissued here with the help of this self-declared Spain to such literary accomplishments, and is now a legend for those who did not know it.

From the book he celebrates (Carmen Balcells, the smuggler of words, discussion) its author Carme Rivera s Rose Monterothe novelist and writer who trusted Balthes to put her now important literary life on the right track, spoke before an audience that could not quite believe that the woman who revolutionized the world of literary publishing by moving one finger, the finger of “boom”, did so many things, all so diverse, Sitting in an office, traveling back and forth to America, writing (and doing nothing else) Mario Vargas Llosa o Gabriel Gracia Marquez.

All this, by the way, was done by Carmen Balces with the support of Yellow paper notebook handwritten how the books should be arranged, which I carefully controlledEnthusiasm did not break it until the last breath came down. Here, in Frankfurt, she was young, but in her time a piece of paper did not move without knowing the future that awaited the one who wrote it.

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black background time

when loyalty Javier Marias On the Book fair in FrankfurtWho was leading the press conference and writer Paul Enginday He asked the participants if they had anything to add so that the session did not end in sadness.

Marias passed away at the end of the summer and he felt his death too Germanywhere author Heart pure white He had an unusual supporter in the critic Reich – Ranicki. The latter, who later broke down a book of Günter Grass’ memoirs with a scandal, stated on his TV show that it was hard to imagine better literature than that of the Madrilenian. Since then, 1996, and until now, Marías is considered the best Spanish-language writer in this country, both because of what his books say, as was said yesterday at this posthumous celebration, and also for his writing style.

Once He explained the erotic values ​​of his novels, which are unusual in post-war European prosesymposium attendees (Gustavo GuerreroFrom GallimardTranslator Susan Lang And the last Marías editor in this language, roland cipherReceived this challenge from Ingendaay. Not only was he an interpreter for Maria (and a passionate editor of his texts about football, among other assignments) but he was also a great friend of his. What do they have to say and prevent us from leaving the sad? His current editor, who said that Marias had asked, on one of his last trips in Germany, that there was a bathtub and that he could smoke in his room, was uprooted. Sorry, there was no bathtub. Guerrero lived a similar tale, but told another: It was very difficult to translate into French crush Marias, because it’s in French crush They are not transitive, so the author agreed that periphrasis should replace the literal title translated from Spanish. But, the author said to them, ‘Please put a picture in which it turns out that they are lovers who love each other’.

Before last smiles in honor of Javier Marias who was young, cheerful, joking and open, though his literature was self-absorbed, Ingendaay enthusiastically spoke about black background time, The book that contains more of his private life than anything written by the man who is no longer with us. Applause resounded in the hall. This book that moved a journalist Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung, Perhaps the German who knows most about Marias is a biography that begins with the death of his younger brother. Said at the 1996 exhibition, it now looks like a beautiful and unforgettable homage to a literature like no other.

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