One night, a prostitute gets talking to a stranger. When she learns he’s a writer, she makes a deal with him: in exchange for her body, he will write the story of all the prostitutes who died in the earthquake. That’s French author Makenzy Orcel’s Les Immortelles (The Immortals / Under the Peepal Tree) in a nutshell.
Now imagine meeting Orcel himself and having him read it out to you! Or Poland’s award-winning writer Jacek Dehnel reading out his work to you. Yes, you could speed date these two and eight other European writers and storytellers in a literary way, right in the Capital, at the Long Night of LiteratureS.
Not missing the importance of first impression, participating multilingual storyteller, poet and journalist Laila Wadia, who was born in India, but lives in Italy, says, “First impressions take 5 minutes: in love, at work and with a book. So I’m looking forward to a lot of wonderful first experiences that I hope might lead to long-term friendship and readership.”
Ute Reimer-Böhner, director information and library services South Asia Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, informs, “The Delhi audience has been most enthusiastic about the event - a literary speed dating. It allows them to encounter a number of European authors from in different languages, in short time, in an almost private ambience. This year the night is going to be longer than last year.”
Bibliophiles get to listen to 10 authors, from 10 European countries, including: France, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland. Each author reads to an audience of about 12-15 people for 20 minutes. The group then moves to the next room to listen to another author.
The writers are as kicked about the event, as the bibliophiles. “My expectations as a story teller are those of exchanging tales. I am not a writer. A writer writes. I am a storyteller. A storyteller interacts. My writing is italoangloindian, with no hyphenations, so I hope this translingual poetry I Will be presenting will resound with all those who believe that literature can transcend language,” says Wadia.
Markus Kirchhofer, from Switzerland, is already enjoying the warmth of people in India. He feels the experience will help any writer grow and adds, “The format is something I haven’t experienced before. It sounds exciting because it allows a close and a more intimate interaction with the audience members. When the group is small - the exchange is special as there is a connection between the author and the audience. I will be reading from my first solo publication, a volume of poems titled Eisfischen (2014) and am going to read different poems - so each session will be different to the other. I am looking forward to this opportunity to engage with literature enthusiasts from India.”
Catch it Live:
What: Long Night of LiteratureS
Where: Instituto Cervantes, 48, Hanuman Road, New Delhi
When: 23 September 2016 at 5:30 pm
Nearest Metro station: Rajiv Chowk Metro Station on Blue Line and Yellow Line
For entry: Entry by prior registration, write to firstname.lastname@example.org to register