“Whenever I come to the Belgrade Book Fair, I feel like a kid in a candy store – I cannot make up my mind what to do or see first. I am always in awe of the abundance of books here, and there is something for everybody. I really don’t mind the shouting and screaming of youngsters when they meet up with popular writers and bloggers”, says writer and NIN Award laureate, Vladimir Pistalo.
“What is missing from the Belgrade Book Fair is more famous foreign writers, and lack of long-term planning”, Pistalo adds.
Translator Branko Andjic had the opportunity to visit various book fairs worldwide and says: “Bloggers are present at all big book fairs. Several years ago, at a book fair in Argentina, blogger Joana Sanchez was at the centre of attention. This is a relatively new phenomenon in our country, and we should not be overly concerned by it – we are talking about parallel world that has no effect on culture and literature per se”.
Writer Dordje Pisarev says that bloggers having guest appearances at book fair is “a sign of times”, and adds that he does not mind it: “I really don’t mind this type of superficial literature because one day people who read these books could switch to serious book. It’s better that kids adore bloggers/writers than pop stars”.
Poet Djordje Sladoje says that he still doesn’t understand what’s the catch with the popularity of the books written by bloggers, and hopes that the people who read these books will eventually turn to a different kind of literature in the future.
According to writer Milisav Savic, the Belgrade Book Fair is, by far, one of the best fairs in the world. “I went to many book fairs in the world, including the one in Frankfurt, but this one is one of the best. Every book has its audience, and not I, or any other writer for that matter, should expect for the fans of light literature to start liking our books. However, I am not against such literature. I have published my books in e-format, and I firmly believe that the Internet has a great effect not only on readers, but on literary forms. Who knows what shape with novel take in 100 years’ time. Also, we should not be wary of new literature. I think that new age literature will erase the borders between poetry, prose and essays”, Savic adds.
(Vecernje Novosti, 28.10.2017)
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