samedi 8 mars 2014

2014 Meetings: “Writers Between Two Cultures”

The International Writers’ House in Beirut aims at promoting a dialogue and debate among authors related to literatures formed through the interaction of cultures, the mobility of people and the exchange of works. Therefore, for its first meetings the organization will emphasize the theme pertaining to writers of immigration - all forms of migration that have fostered the exchange and interaction among people of our times. Held in Beirut, the meetings will reflect the city, itself a port from which many authors have immigrated to other places in the world, and still witnesses the trauma of immigration, but also benefits from the linguistic and cultural contribution of its diaspora. It would be fitting that for these few days, Beirut will host a meeting where all forms of displacement and migration are debated and great authors coming from different places and literary background will meet, discuss, and debate in front of the Lebanese public. These meetings will be titled “Writers Between Two Cultures”.

The Meetings

The meetings titled “Writers Between Two Cultures” will take place in May 2014. They will comprise a series of eight to ten sessions each dedicated to one or two writers at most, and moderated by local and international professors or literary journalists, to whom partnering bookstores will have sent the authors’ books in advance. Moderators will put questions forth on the author’s works, on their rapport with emigration and language, and on their vision of the world and of literature in general. The audience will be invited to comment. Each session will last 60 to 90 minutes Simultaneous translation into three languages (Arabic, English, French) will be available where needed. During the meetings, local artists will read extracts from one of the writer’s texts or short videos will be screened will be organized.

Writers’ House vs. Residency

The project of an International Writers’ House in Beirut differs from that of a writers’ residency and must be distinguished from it, even though both may converge at some point. A Writers’ House is not a place where writers live or reside in order to write. The commonly accepted meaning that applies to the Writers’ House herein refers to an organization seeking to regularly gather writers in public meetings and on specific topics.

At the start of this project, the annual meeting will be held in venues that have traditionally served cultural events such as amphitheatres, auditoriums, and theatres that will be rented for the event. Eventually, the International Writers’ House in Beirut hopes to have the opportunity and funding to have a permanent locale. The workshops and academic meetings will be organized at universities in Beirut.


1. Writers’ meetings

The International Writers’ House will organize an annual event for international authors to meet in Beirut over a two to three day period. The event will host debates and discussions - around a chosen theme - between the authors with the active participation of the public.

2. A literature theme magazine

The International Writers’ House will publish an annual magazine where authors will be commissioned to provide new text to be published in their original language and in translation to French, Arabic and English.

3. Research and academic meetings

This structure will also promote academic research on the subjects of immigrant literature, “Eurohphone” Literature – literature written in European languages outside of Europe, and modernity literature. These academic meetings will be held once every other year.

jeudi 7 novembre 2013

La Musique des langues

"La Musique des langues" est un petit Babel linguistique, en guise d’apéritif pour inaugurer la venue en 2014 à Beyrouth d’écrivains de toutes langues et de toutes cultures. Lectures bilingues de textes littéraires, successivement dans la version originale puis dans la version française, entrecoupées d’interludes musicaux "bilingues"(Abbas Kassamany au oud oriental et Jinan Jaffal à la flûte traversière - l’Hiver d’Antonio Vivaldi et le Boléro de Maurice Ravel) :

1. Mo Yan, Le Pays de l’alcool, lecture en chinois par Yang Xue

2. Hanif Kureishi, Le Bouddha de banlieue, lecture en anglais par Simon Shephard

3. Krikor Beledian, Seuils, lecture en arménien par Levon Nordiguian

4. Haruki Murakami, La Ballade de l’impossible, lecture en japonais par Junko Hoki

5. António Lobo Antunes, Le Retour des caravelles, lecture en portugais par Mia Veira Azar

6. Jabbour Douaihy, Pluie de juin, lecture en arabe par Walid Mansour