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EU-China literary festival set to launch online

Updated: 2020-11-06 08:15:30

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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The fifth EU-China International Literary Festival will start on Nov 12 and run through Dec 6, says Nicolas Chapuis, ambassador of the European Union to China, via an online launch ceremony on Nov 6.

In the light of global COVID-19 pandemic, the annual literary festival will be moved online. A total of 54 writers from China and the 27 member states of the EU will communicate with their counterparts and audiences through 27 online events that people can join in on Zoom.

This year, with the theme "Recovery/Reflection", the literary festival will examine how the world responds to the current global issues and the role of literature and thoughtful debates through the eyes of writers.

European writers that will be present in online events include David Wagner (Lives) from Germany, Colm Toibin (Brooklyn and The Master) from Ireland, Andres Barba (A Luminous Republic and Such Small Hands) from Spain, Stina Jackson (The Silver Road) from Sweden, Christophe Ono-Dit-Biot (Plonger) from France, Dorthe Nors (Mirror, Shoulder, Signal and Karate Chop) from Denmark, and Daan Heerma van Voss (The Last War) from The Netherlands.

On the China side are Liu Zhenyun (Cell Phone: A Novel and The Cook, the Crook, and the Real Estate Tycoon: A Novel of Contemporary China), Bi Feiyu (The Moon Opera and Massage), Liang Hong (China in One Village: The History of One Town and the Future of the World), and A Yi (A Perfect Crime).

"The distinguished writers represent different literary traditions," said Chapius.

"They will promote cross-border intellectual interactions and nurture new artistic visions."

Speaking of the theme of the festival this year, "Recovery/Reflection", Chapuis said that literature can indeed help us to better understand the world around us.

"Books can remind us not to forget our values when times are getting rough. Reading can enable us to reflect how to turn a crisis into an opportunity, to steer the ship safely through stormy weathers into a brighter future," he said.

Due to the global pandemic, this is the first online EU-China International Literary Festival.

"We all have to live through these extraordinary times. We have had to leave our comfort zones and find creative and innovative ways to keep connected with each other," Chapuis said.

"This has also been the case of the EU-China International Literary Festival. Moving this annual festival online does not only allow us to reach to listeners and readers all over China, it also demonstrates how highly we believe that culture can help to strengthen resilience during a crisis," he said.

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