Resources > Europe reads - Literature in Europe
18 Apr 2011

Europe reads - Literature in Europe

This 2010 publication from ifa, Germany in the Culture Report series examines the state of contemporary literature in Europe today. With contributions by prominent writers from across Europe.

Available to order or as a free download.

Only a small percentage of books from neighbouring European countries are available to us in translation. "We read books first and foremost from the United States and only afterwards from other European nations," says the Polish journalist Adam Krzeminski. Can one talk at all about a 'European' literature, when hardly any literature is read Europe-wide due to a lack of translation? What role does literature play in the formation of a European identity? Do we burden literature too much when we lumber it with the job of promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue?

Europe cannot take on the responsibilities of its writers, but Europe’s writers could feel more responsible towards Europe. From the point of view of literature, how do writers view the role of culture in Europe? How do they define what European culture is, what makes culture European beyond national cultures? Can literature take on the strategic task of helping Europe to develop a sense of community? Can culture provide Europe with a soul? What have been the advances and the setbacks in the development of a European culture in recent years?

Europe reads – Literature in Europe / Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations – ifa), Robert Bosch Foundation (eds.) in cooperation with the British Council, the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, the Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia and the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. – Stuttgart: ifa, 2010

This publication is available in English, German, French, Portuguese and Polish. See website for different language options.