Archive photo shows the Luxembourg stand at the Frankfurt book fair in 2019
Photo: Reading Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s rich literary landscape is little known beyond its borders. Marc Rettel is working to change that in 2021.
At the start of 2020, there were 602 living authors in Luxembourg. Getting their names and works known abroad is the goal of Reading Luxembourg, a project from the Agence Luxembourgeoise d’Action Culturelle (Alac).
“We will measure this through the number of translations,” says Alac’s Marc Rettel. His focus is to build on the network and contacts forged when Luxembourg returned to the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt in 2018 and to secure rights for translations of Luxembourg works.
Despite the fact that French and German are among the country’s national languages, Rettel says Luxembourg is overlooked by publishers working in these languages. “It has nothing to do with the quality, but we need to raise more awareness.”
Progress is already being made. In 2020, a dozen contracts were signed for translations of Luxembourg books, despite the pandemic disruptions to book fairs. Among them will be a German translation of Tullio Forgiarini’s “Amok”.
More translations should follow in 2021 when Luxembourg will have a presence at the major book fairs Taipei International Book Exhibition, Livre Paris, Marché de la Poésie, where the country will be guest of honour, and Frankfurt.
This article was originally published in the January 2021 edition of Delano Magazine