Romanian-born playwright Matei Visniec is the honorary president of Radio Romania's Gaudeamus Book Fair.
The Gaudeamus Book
Fair has just opened its gates in Bucharest. Organised by Radio Romania, the
only radio station in the world to undertake such a project, the fair has
turned into a landmark, for both specialists and the larger audience. Hundreds
of exhibitors are taking part in this year's edition of the fair, which will
host no less than 800 events, including book and audio-book launches, book
signing sessions, meetings with writers, historians, publishers, translators,
literary critics, political experts, photographers and journalists.
The guest of honour
this year is not a country, as it used to be before, but the very European
Commission. In this way, the fair celebrates several major events: 60 years
since the signing of the Rome Treaty, 30 years since the launch of the Erasmus
programme and ten years since Romania joined the European Union.
president of the fair is this year the famous Romanian-born playwright and
journalist Matei Visniec, who talked about the fair on Radio Romania:
"The Gaudeamus Fair is a magical place, a meeting
place for great ideas, feelings and educational projects. This is a time when
we can all recall that this extraordinary recipient of culture, the book, was
born in Europe. To me, the fact that the European Commission is taking part in
this event is a way of recalling the simplest and at the same time most
profound definition of Europe, namely the place where the book was born as an
element of popular culture. It's the place where Gutenberg invented the first
printing press in the world, turning the book from an object for the elites
into something to be enjoyed by ordinary people, too. The book industry was
born in Europe. Public library networks and the circulation of books, and
therefore of ideas, are a fabulous European adventure."
Matei Visniec also spoke about the interest that
still exists in books, which maintain critical spirit and optimism alive. Matei
"There is a big hunger for fiction, for literature,
because we cannot understand the human being and the contemporary issues facing
the world unless we read novels, poetry, essays and philosophy and unless we go
to the theatre. Humans and their contradictions are best reflected in
The Gaudeamus fair, which has been held for two
decades now, has so far attracted more than 1.7 million visitors and some 6,200
exhibitors. Radio Romania has thus become a national leader in the field.