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Balance sheet edition of the International Literature Festival in Bucharest

The 9th special balance sheet edition of the International Literature Festival in Bucharest (FILB) is ready to toe the line during December 7-9.

Guest writers invited to attend FILB’s ninth edition have their own way to fight against reality, either by taking refuge in the past and legend, or in fairytale and memory, or by directly practicing a virulent social critics. They are united by what it should be and is the engine behind any authentic literary vehicle: the world’s denial, as it is. Therefore, the 2016 edition is asking them a rhetorical question: A farewell to arms? We know what the answer is, but we want to hear it load and clear,” said Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu, FILB President.

The programme this year includes two nights of public readings and debates at the Peasant Club, on December 8 and 9, starting 6 p.m., as well as an event dedicated to students, made in partnership with the Communication Sciences Department within the Philology Faculty the University of Bucharest, on December 7, at 6 p.m.

Book lovers will have the chance to meet four female writers on December 8: Irina Teodorescu (Frace), Veronica D. Niculescu, Lavinia Braniște and Irina Georgescu Groza – four moments of public reading sessions from their latest novels. There will also be a debate on the female authors: “About feminine writing: is there a female writing or it’s just a comfortable label for the literary critics and for the cultural journalism?”.

Four male writers are coming to meet the readers on Friday, December 9: Jan Koneffke (Germany), and Romanians Marin Mălaicu-Hondrari, Vlad Zografi and Tudor Ganea. The topic of the debate is “Escape from reality: utopia, adoptive countries, magical realism. What happens to good, old realism?”.

We have the bad luck of living interesting times: we are witnessing the increase of nationalism in eager rivalry, the triumph of the xenophobic speech, the unification of thinking on the coordinates of a flat <common sense> which also lacks any tone. We intended right even since the birth of this festival in 2008 to build a freedom and non-conformism platform and we believe that it’s more and more fraught the need of questioning if literature shouldn’t re-enter history and use its only weapon, the word, against a world that has been babbling and stammering for quite some time,” said FILB President.

In the past 9 years of existence, FILB has brought in Bucharest 114 writers from 25 countries: Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croaia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Malta, Great Britain, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, USA, Turkey and Romania.

FILB is the only literature festival in Romania that has been publicly presented at the most important festival in the world, Edinburgh Festivals in August 2015. It was awarded the second prize at the Civil Society Gala and was nominated for the Radio Romania Cultural Awards in 2015.

FILB has also brought in Bucharest the Literary Death Match, a successful international game where literature enters the squared circle, a project “with the most engaging readings” (LA Times).

The festival was founded on October 2008 by Oana Boca (manager cultural) and writers Vasile Ernu and Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu. Ioana Gruenwald has joined the organizers since 2012.

The Romania Journal is among the festival’s media partners this year.

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