20 writers from 10 countries attended the 6th International Literature Festival in Timisoara
Some 20 writers from 10 countries attended
the 6th International Literature Festival (FILTM) in the Western
city of Timisoara over October 25th-28th. Public
readings, debates and writers' dialogues with readers took place. There were
also two new sections added to the festival: a poetry marathon bringing
together writers from Central and South-Eastern Europe and Literary Death Match
featuring a number of authors reading from their own writings and then assessed
by judges. "History between memory and fiction" was one of the themes proposed
by the organisers at this year's edition.
Poet Robert Serban, the president of
the festival, explains:
"I think that each of us, writers
and readers, has a connection with history. This festival is entitled West of
East/East of West. In Central and Eastern Europe there are stories we should
know, our stories, the stories of our neighbours, stories we have interacted
with, stories that have moulded us from a cultural and historical point of view
and ultimately from a human viewpoint too. Romania has constantly interacted
with and permanently carried on a dialogue with the neighbouring countries and
it is very important that we know our partners of dialogue. It is also
important that we know the people by our side; it is perhaps more important
than to know people on other continents."
On the first night of the festival,
literature lovers in Timisoara had the chance to meet two of the foremost
Romanian writers, prose writer Gabriela Adamesteanu, the most translated
contemporary Romanian author, and Ion Vianu, who splits his time between
Switzerland and Romania.
Robert Serban tells us more:
"On the first night we brought together established writers. As you
may know, Gabriela Adamesteanu is one of the most translated Romanian writers.
She made her debut in the mid 1970s and was very active in the Romanian media
in the 1990s, shortly after the revolution, as director of Revista 22, being
also a member of the Group for Social Dialogue. Ion Vianu was one of the few
courageous people during Ceausescu's dictatorship in Romania, being among the
few to show solidarity with the dissident writer Paul Goma. Then he went into
exile to Switzerland because he risked being the target of retaliation. Writers
spoke about history and their latest works, the discussion being moderated by
writer Adriana Babeti, one of the intellectuals Timisoara takes pride in."
On the second night of the festival, the
well-known Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan, a veteran of the Euromaidan, and the
German prose writer of Polish descent Matthias Nawrat talked face to face.
Tatiana Tibuleac of the Republic of Moldova, the author of one of the best
novels published in 2016, carried on a face-to-face dialogue with Dan Lungu,
the most translated Romanian writer of the new generation.
Before attending the Timisoara Festival,
where she was presented as "a revelation in the contemporary Romanian
literature", Tatiana Tibuleac had also been invited to the International
Festival of Literature and Translation in the North-Eastern city of Iasi.
"Both the Iasi Festival and the
Timisoara Festival were like a holiday for me. Besides the unexpected surprise
of being invited, it was also a great joy to meet so many people I had only
known from their works and to attend the festivals for the first time as a
writer because I had only been at such festivals as a journalist. I liked the
Festival in Timisoara very much for the way it was organised, though there were
less participants than in the Iasi Festival. The discussions I participated in
were very important for me to know my position as a writer. The talks I had
with Ion Vianu and Gabriela Adamesteanu after the festival were also very
important. Those people wrote books that can be considered real lessons of
literature. Reading some prose by Gabriela Adamesteanu recently, I noted that
years ago, she had written stuff that seems new to us today. That is why, it is
very important to be connected to literature and realise that themes are
recurrent and we only deal with them in a different way."
"Short and intense, the splendid novel of
Tatiana Tibuleac shoots to fame a prose writer from whom I have the greatest
expectations", writes Radu Vancu about her novel "The Summer when My Mother's
Eyes Were Green" brought out by Cartier Publishers. Tatiana Tibuleac again:
"When I started to write, I didn't
think it would be a book. I started to write the story of a woman who impressed
me last summer. But as I was writing, I realised I couldn't stop and very many
things on my mind that were somehow hidden, started coming out in that story.
And then I thought I should carry on to see what would come of it. At a certain
point, I realised that I had to go through with that book. There were a lot of
things I had wanted to say but I hadn't found the form, the opportunity or the
moment to do it. And that book gave me all that. After I wrote it, I realised
how much good it had done to me to say those things."
Appreciated by readers and critics alike,
Tatiana Tibuleac will see her novel published by the French publishing house
Syrtes next year.