Celebrating European Literature
“Europe has not managed to view its literature as a historical unit, and I continue to insist that this is an irreparable intellectual loss,” wrote Milan Kundera in Le Rideau (The Curtain) in 2005. The publication of a 1,200-page history of European literature in October 2021, came to cover this void and Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, believes the book, Lettres européennes Histoire de la littérature européenne, has achieved that goal.
The voluminous publication collected contributions from more than 200 academics, literary critics and writers from all over Europe and it was edited by Annick Benoit-Dusausoy, Guy Fontaine, Jan Jędrzejewski, and Timour Muhidine.
The House of European History and the book’s four editors, with the support of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will organise an event on the history and contemporary role of European literature. The event will take place on Wednesday 12 October 2022, from 12:00 to 14:00, at the museum on Rue Belliard 135, in Bruxelles.
During the event, which will be in English and French, the editors of Lettres européennes Histoire de la littérature européenne will present the new edition and sign copies of the book. The welcoming address will be by European Parliament Vice-President Dita Charanzova and Museum Director, Constanze Itzel, will also speak at the event.
Following the presentation, four European writers from across Europe, representing the diversity of the European literary landscape, will discuss various aspects of the role of literature in the current geopolitical context:
- Matei Vişniec and John Retallack: ‘Literature and migration’
- Kenan Görgün: ‘Being a European writer’
- Aslı Erdoğan: ‘Literature and resistance’