It’s positively raining literary festivals in this part of the world. Bruno Schulz, Slovenia and now Berlin. It would be a miracle if there’s any actual writing getting done.
The International Literature Festival Berlin is underway and among the Central and Eastern European writers taking part are Nobel prize winner Herta Müller, Péter Nádas (who, after writing Parallel Stories over 18 years, has some leeway to take a break and visit a festival or two), Vladimir Sorokin, Mikhail Shishkin, Georgi Gospodinov and Tomas Venclova.
Tim Parks is among the international writers that will be there, though if you’ve read his recent essay on the writer in the era of globalization you might wonder which Tim Parks is attending. The program unfortunately doesn’t specify.
A couple events that sound worth going to: Müller reading from new collage poetry using newspaper and magazine clippings reassembled in rhyme and titled “Father Telephones with the Flies,” the presentation of a new German translation of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita followed by brass band music by the “Political Task Force Orchestra” in support of Pussy Riot.