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For the Love of Literature

Express News Service

Imagine being in a room with an international author as they read their work and then engage in a one-on-one conversation with them. This would be nothing less than a heaven-sent opportunity for literature enthusiasts who would not mind an elaborate tête-a-tête with writers.

This idea transformed into reality for a slew of Delhiites at the ‘Long Night of Literatures 2022’ (LNL)—a literary event that took place at Instituto Cervantes, Connaught Place, on Friday evening.

Organised as a collaborative project by various European cultural institutes in India, LNL brought together authors and literary figures from 11 European nations—Finland, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Switzerland, among others—who read excerpts from their work with a rotating audience of Indian citizens. 

This one-of-a-kind event has made a return in physical form in India after two years—it took place virtually amid the pandemic. Throwing light on the intent behind this initiative, Seppo Nurmi, deputy head of the delegation of the European Union to India, said, ‘LNL brings together varied voices from across Europe.

The event is a unique platform that brings audiences face to face with authors from across Europe in a new form of setting while giving the authors a chance to exchange ideas and interact with the Indian audience.”  Friday’s event was preceded by a panel discussion themed on the changing literary landscapes of India and Europe at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Chanakyapuri, on Thursday evening. 

Celebrating diversity 

A “literary speed dating” is the best way to describe LNL; the attendees—students, translators, writers etc., were divided into smaller groups. Each group got a chance to speak to the authors one after another, on a rotation basis. 

Authors focused on familiarising the audience with European culture through their texts. Austrian author Robert Prosser presented excerpts from his novels—Phantome and Gemma Habibi. As he spoke in German, an English translation of the excerpts was displayed for the audience. Prosser said, “It (LNL) is like the best-case scenario you can have for a literature festival.

We have different writers—from Europe—they come from different backgrounds. You get the chance to engage with an Indian audience and get to know them so that is a tremendous benefit as well.” On the other hand, a few like Antti Tuomainen, a Finnish award-winning writer, kept the space open for attendees to engage with him.

“I liked how he did not just focus on his novel but kept the space open to discuss books, what sort of Finland is etc. It felt like a normal conversation,” shared Himani Parasher, a West Delhi resident after attending Tuomainen’s session.

Imagine being in a room with an international author as they read their work and then engage in a one-on-one conversation with them. This would be nothing less than a heaven-sent opportunity for literature enthusiasts who would not mind an elaborate tête-a-tête with writers.

This idea transformed into reality for a slew of Delhiites at the ‘Long Night of Literatures 2022’ (LNL)—a literary event that took place at Instituto Cervantes, Connaught Place, on Friday evening.

Organised as a collaborative project by various European cultural institutes in India, LNL brought together authors and literary figures from 11 European nations—Finland, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Switzerland, among others—who read excerpts from their work with a rotating audience of Indian citizens. 

This one-of-a-kind event has made a return in physical form in India after two years—it took place virtually amid the pandemic. Throwing light on the intent behind this initiative, Seppo Nurmi, deputy head of the delegation of the European Union to India, said, ‘LNL brings together varied voices from across Europe.

The event is a unique platform that brings audiences face to face with authors from across Europe in a new form of setting while giving the authors a chance to exchange ideas and interact with the Indian audience.”  Friday’s event was preceded by a panel discussion themed on the changing literary landscapes of India and Europe at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Chanakyapuri, on Thursday evening. 

Celebrating diversity 

A “literary speed dating” is the best way to describe LNL; the attendees—students, translators, writers etc., were divided into smaller groups. Each group got a chance to speak to the authors one after another, on a rotation basis. 

Authors focused on familiarising the audience with European culture through their texts. Austrian author Robert Prosser presented excerpts from his novels—Phantome and Gemma Habibi. As he spoke in German, an English translation of the excerpts was displayed for the audience. Prosser said, “It (LNL) is like the best-case scenario you can have for a literature festival.

We have different writers—from Europe—they come from different backgrounds. You get the chance to engage with an Indian audience and get to know them so that is a tremendous benefit as well.” On the other hand, a few like Antti Tuomainen, a Finnish award-winning writer, kept the space open for attendees to engage with him.

“I liked how he did not just focus on his novel but kept the space open to discuss books, what sort of Finland is etc. It felt like a normal conversation,” shared Himani Parasher, a West Delhi resident after attending Tuomainen’s session.



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