Ambassador for Norwegian literature
Over the next few years Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit will have the special task of promoting Norwegian literature internationally.
Norwegian literature is gaining popularity internationally, and there are exciting times ahead. One of the highlights is that Norway has been selected to be the Guest of Honour at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the world’s largest, most important book fair.
In her capacity as an ambassador for Norwegian literature the Crown Princess will participate in key events in connection with the Norwegian Guest of Honour project for the book fair in Frankfurt.
Norwegian literature conquers the world
“I am proud and pleased to serve as an ambassador for Norwegian literature in the process towards Frankfurt 2019. As we all know, Norwegian literature has won more space on international bookshelves in recent years,” said the Crown Princess in her speech to representatives of the Norwegian literature industry and other areas of the cultural sphere gathered at Sentralen centre in Oslo today.
I am proud and pleased to serve as an ambassador for Norwegian literature in the process towards Frankfurt 2019.
The organisation Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) has brought together 250 of Norway’s most important stakeholders at its Planning and Input Conference – Frankfurt 2019. The conference marks the start of the process towards Frankfurt 2019. NORLA is responsible for carrying out the Norwegian Guest of Honour project.
Guest of honour at the world’s largest book fair
The Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, also attended the conference.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest, most prestigious book fair. It is an extra bonus for Norway that the fair is held in Germany, which for years has been a door-opener for Norwegian literature to the rest of the world.
The fair attracts some 300 000 visitors each year.
Role of the Crown Princess
The role of the Crown Princess in promoting Norwegian literature will have an international framework, and will extend beyond 2019.
The Norwegian Government and NORLA believe that Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s dedication to literature enables her to make an important contribution to further strengthening the position of Norwegian literature abroad. For many years the Crown Princess has demonstrated a strong personal commitment to literature and to encouraging greater interest in reading, particularly among children and young people.
What would England be without Shakespeare? What would Germany be without Goethe? What would Norway be without Ibsen?
The Crown Princess began her speech today by pointing out how literature helps to shape us as individuals and as a society:
“What would England be without Shakespeare? What would Germany be without Goethe? What would Norway be without Ibsen? We could go on like this, country by country, around the world. Not to dwell on the old masters, but to illustrate how literature forges our identity. It helps to build nations. It helps to create our shared framework of references, our common heritage and our DNA – regardless of whether or not we know its origins. Literature helps to shape us – as individuals, as participants in society, as Norwegians, as Europeans and as citizens of the world.”
Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest and most important of its kind in the world. It takes place during a week in October. The first three days are devoted to the publishing business. Then the doors are opened to the public. The German book market is the second largest in the world.
Book and media people from 125 countries meet here to buy and sell rights. The fair draws some 300 000 visitors a year. About 10 000 journalists from around the world cover the event.
Norway is the fair’s Guest of Honour for 2019 – the result of a major collective effort by the Norwegian book industry. Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA) has taken the leadership role. Among the main goals is to feature new literary voices.
The Guest of Honour nation receives a great deal of attention across Germany. In Frankfurt, the Guest of Honour is spotlighted at many events throughout the autumn within all fields of art and culture.
Other Nordic countries honoured in this way found the experience to be highly positive. Finland was Guest of Honour at the fair in 2014 and Iceland in 2011.
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