TGIF because we have so much to tell you about the literary goings-on around the world! From book fairs in Argentina to new electronic media in indigenous languages from Mexico, to touring documentary screenings in Taiwan, this week has been packed with exciting news.
Sarah Moses, Editor-at-Large for Argentina, reports on upcoming events:
On March 22, The Museo del Libro y de la Lengua launched “Déjalo Beat. Insurgencia poética de los años 60,” an exhibit that seeks to bring attention to the beatniks porteños, a group of Buenos Aires authors and poets who embodied 1960s counterculture through works that were genre-bending and anti-academic. Open until July, the exhibit showcases magazines, photographs, early editions of novels, and other audiovisual material from writers including Reynaldo Mariani, Poni Micharvegas, Sergio Mulet, Ruy Rodríguez, and Néstor Sánchez. “Celebración Beat. La belleza de lo roto,” a multidisciplinary work of theatre based on texts from fifteen of the authors included in “Déjalo Beat” will be performed at the museum on April 7.
Bar Piglia, located in Buenos Aires’s Library of Congress, was inaugurated on March 31. The café commemorates Ricardo Piglia, who passed away on January 6; its walls are decorated with a mural and photos of the writer, and its shelves contain copies of his books. Piglia knew of the homage and, hours before his death, completed a piece tracing a history of the library and the role it had played in his life. The text was read by actress Cristina Banegas on the first night of “Palabras Vivas,” a reading series that will take place at the café.
Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to our American readers—and to all non-Americans, happy Friday! Anglophones certainly have something to be thankful for: one of William Shakespeare’s treasured First Folios has been uncovered, practically untouched, in a small chapel in France, where it is reported to have lain for over two hundred years. And any literature lover or archivist from the University of Texas might be feeling extra-thankful this week, as the complete archive of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez has been donated to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin. And at the Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Maloney opines that the proliferation of paperback books helped win World War II for the Americans.
This week in book buzz: British/Indian author Arundhati Roy is following up her 1997-Booker Prizewinning God of Small Things, at long last, after a period dedicated to political activism. Here’s a profile. You can look forward to more than that, what with an upcoming translation of German counterculture icon Jörg Fauser’s novel, Raw Material. Irish phenomenon and inspiration to all pining novelists Eimear McBride has snagged another award for A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which has already won the Goldsmiths and the Bailey’s Prizes, among others. The biggest international book prize, the IMPAC Dublin award, has announced its glorious longlist, and you might recognize a few titles (the list includes a title translated by Alex Zucker, blog contributor!). If you’re a skeptic to the prospect of awards in general, you might enjoy this look back at the National Book Awards, proving that even the most venerated intellectual institutions are subject to whim and fashion.
French existentialists, philosophers, and novelists Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre didn’t end on the best of terms, but a forgotten letter from better times has reemerged. Same goes for American beats Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady: a letter from Cassady to Kerouac inspiring Jack’s iconic On the Road is set to be auctioned off.
Every get a 2-AM book craving? (We know you do). In Taiwan, the 24-hour bookstore is a welcome respite for weary clubbers and bookworms alike.