Sunday, May 27 sees the beginning of the 2012 Festival of the European Short Story (FESS) in Zagreb. The festival has a fantastic-looking new website which unfortunately still has some kinks to work out (clicking on a link for an interview with David Albahari I arrived at a wordless page that had a photograph of Arnon Grunberg. Clearly they are just getting the website going because if you go to the photo gallery on the Croatian page (HR), you will see one of the most unusual festival lineups ever).
Festivals often start with gala evenings and long, wordy speeches. FESS has come up with an original way to kick off their festival by holding a writers vs. Croatian artists soccer game. My bookie gave me 3 – 1 odds on the artists though the writers have players from some typically excellent soccer-playing countries (The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal).
There will also be panels on promoting national literatures, on reading between Croatian and Serbian, translation workshops, readings, book launches and an award ceremony. The festival is organized by the Croatian Writers’ Society and is in its 11th year.