107 writers have begun a 6 week train tour, Literature Express Europa 2000 started in Lisbon on June 4, it will cross 11 European countries, pulling into Berlin on July 17. On the way, it will stop in 19 cities including Madrid, Paris, Brussels, St. Petersburg -- holding literary events at each stop.
When the tour pulls into Friedrichstrasse train station in Berlin, a festival will begin in the station. A Music poetry night at Potsdamer Platz and a book fair on Bebelplatz, site of the 1933 Nazi book burning, are also planned.
The writers -- Jacques Jouet, Laurynas Katkus, Anita Konkka, Michail Nikolaevich Kuraev, Inge-Lina Lindqvist Amanda Michalopoulou, Besnik Mustafaj, Ines Pedrosa, Margareta Sarri, and Stefan Sprenger among many others -- "will experiment with their language, using it as a tool to explore Europe," explains the Literature Workshop Berlin, which organized the event. "They will experiment with communication across European cultures and find opportunities for developing further ways of communicating in the 21st century."
In the process they will "reclaim public places for literature," Workshop spokesman Thoman Wohlfahrt told DIE WELT.
The group will also challenge Europe's Western orientation, examine the idea of European identity, and the role of the multitude (more than 40) of European languages in shaping European culture.
"European Language represents the memories of the people which in one way it preserves, in another it builds up barriers. Because of this distinctiveness its uses can be limited. How is Europe to cope with this richness, this burden?" the organizers ask.
Many of the writers chosen to ride the Literature Express are experienced boundary crossers, both in their lives and in their work. For instance, writer, poet, founder, General Editor of the FAKEL EXPRESS Georgi Borissov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. He holds degrees from the Moscow Maxim Gorki Institute for Literature and the French University in Sofia. His works include THE STRANGER. (Petrikov, 1992) He is poetry translator of Russian, French and English texts, and his own work has been translated into English, Russian and German.
Writer and lecturer for English Literature at the University of Porto, Ana Luisa Amaral was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She spent several research years in English Literature at Brown University and is Doctor of North American Literature as well as a graduate of German Literature. Her works include E MUITOS OS CAMINHOS, (Porto, 1995) and in collaboration with Ana G. Macedo, she is producing a Portuguese dictionary of feminist terms.
Writer, philosopher, literary scholar Mike McCormack lives in Galway, Ireland where he works part-time work as a cleaner. Born in London, he spent childhood and youth in Lousburgh, West Ireland. He graduated in English Literature and Philosophy at Galway University. His works include CROWES REQUIEM (novel, Jonathan Cape, London 1998) and GETTING IT IN THE HEAD. (short stories, Jonathan Cape, London 1996)
EUROBYLON - A EUROPEAN POETICS, an anthology of writing during the journey, will be published for next year's Frankfurt Book Fair.
Coordination Center eurobylon e.V.
c/o literaturWERKstatt berlin
Majakowskiring 46/48 13156 Berlin
contact: Anja Galinat
Tel. (+49 30) 485 245-27 Fax (+49 30) 485 245-30