Jostein Gaarder has established a large readership, also in Germany. Here he is seen giving a reading at the Nordic stand in Leipzig.
Germany, in other words! Leipziger Buchmesse takes place in an exhibition hall located 20 minutes from the city centre by S-Bahn but can nonetheless boast of attracting 285,000 visitors to a city with a mere 500,000 residents. How do they achieve this?
Norwegian artists have long been drawn to Germany and Leipzig. Grieg’s music publisher was located here at Talstrasse 10, and Grieg himself had a close and immediate relationship with his publisher. On the third floor of the building he had an apartment and stayed there for long periods of time. The building is still standing and on the wall there is a small memorial plaque to remind visitors that the Peer Gynt suite was written in this building. We would certainly call this cultural history! A Grieg-Begegnungsstätte has now been established in these premises where NORLA will hold seminars and receptions for translators and other contacts.
We carry crates of food and drink up to the third floor. This is a tall order! There are five of us on the work crew and we run up and down the stairs a good eight times each.
For four hours the translators offer input and ideas for Norway’s programme in the period leading up to Frankfurt 2019. We are served food and drink, music by Grieg and nothing less than a mini, on-the-spot literature festival where each of the four new voices from Norway have the chance to introduce themselves.
For that’s what this is all about – engendering new thoughts, texts and ideas.