Press

 

Guadalajara, Jalisco, November 25, 2017

The FIL Opens its Doors with an Accent on Madrid

This year’s opening ceremonies included the recognition of the career and work of writer Emmanuel Carrère and the announcement of the opening of the Casa de México in Madrid

 

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is renowned for its broad literary offering, but is also known as a space for sharing ideas. The FIL’s role in fostering the exchange of world views was placed center stage during the opening ceremonies of this year’s 31st annual event with the participation of French writer Emmanuel Carrère, who was granted the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages.

Carrère is one of today’s most influential writers for readers of several generations, and whose work is especially distinctive because of its emphasis on non-fiction. In his acceptance speech he said that he was honored to receive the award, but also confessed his sadness that it did not carry the name of Juan Rulfo, a Mexican writer for whom he professed his sincere admiration.

The French writer also remarked of his literary career that, “I began writing fiction, and halfway through I decided to dedicate myself to writing that which, for lack of a better term, is called non-fiction.” The creator of novels including A Russian Novel, The Mustache, and Class Trip, Carrère reflected on the some of the aspects of his work: “Where it starts, where it ends, where it lies on the border between fiction and non-fiction.”

Dignitaries from the literary, academic and political world were present for the ceremony, including Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid (this year’s guest of honor), who in her speech announced the creation of the Casa de México cultural center in Madrid. “We are now returning the love we have for this country,” she said.

The mayor also highlighted the importance of Mexican literature in Spain, as it allowed an entire generation access to a world of experience and knowledge during the years after Franco’s dictatorship. She specifically mentioned the Guadalajara International Book Fair as a space where books change peoples’ lives by “reminding of us of our love for literature.”

Raúl Padilla López, president of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, remembered the work of Spanish poet León Felipe, specifically the book You Will Earn the Light, mentioning how this work “gives hope to those of us who believe in culture.”

María Cristina García Zepeda, Mexico’s Secretary of Culture, attended in representation of President Enrique Peña Nieto, and said that spaces like the Guadalajara International Book Fair take place in an atmosphere of freedom. “It’s a meeting with creativity and knowledge,” she said, as she officially opened the doors of the 31st annual FIL.

 

 

 

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