The CROWD is on the move – please make yourself at home!
While others may get by with a little help from their friends, the CROWD Omnibus Reading Tour would not be taking place at all without them. In this portrait series, we would like to introduce you to those who have allowed us to fill in the gaps on the map and bring the whole of Europe together in the name of literature. From May to August 2016, our associated partners will be hosts, havens, and potential life savers for over 100 authors as they snake their way through 15 different European countries and over 40 cities. We asked our partners to tell us about their work in their respective regions; their vision for the CROWD network, and the significance of literature for them both within and beyond Europe’s borders. This is what Patricia Preuß from the Literaturarchiv Sulzbach-Rosenberg / Literaturhaus Oberpfalz said:
What do you expect from CROWD?
New contacts and insights in European literary scenes, how they work, if there are similar problems. Inspirations for my own work as program manager and ideas for common projects.
What are the main activities of your work?
We are a literature house in eastern Bavaria, exactly for the region called Oberpfalz / Upper Palade. Of course we organize readings and present writers with their latest books. We are member of the Bayerische Akademie des Schreibens / Bavarian Academy of Writing and offer creative writing seminars in cooperation with literature house Munich. Our house includes archives of literature since 1945, first of all the collections and correspondences of Walter Höllerer, founder of this institution – poet, editor of literary magazines and member of the so called “Gruppe 47” with close contacts to Günter Grass, Ingeborg Bachmann, Heinrich Böll and others. We are also a literary museum. Our permanent exhibition shows the development and important themes of the German literary public since Second World War.
Situated not too far from the German-Czech border, the former Iron Curtain, we regularly invite Czech authors to readings and organize encounters between German and Czech writers in cooperation with the literature house in Prague. Together we visited places like former KZ Flossenbürg and the memorial in Lidice near Prague. On Literaturportal Bayern you can find texts (German and Czech) inspired by these places of common history.
What is literary activism supposed to mean? What does this term mean to you?
Literary activism in my point of view (I am not a writer, only a passionate reader and an organizer) aims to create for every writer and her/his texts the most fitting preconditions in order to start a (more or less) public conversation and debate. Despite the great variety of formats that have developed the last 10 – 15 years, that isn´t always easy to fulfill because of financial and structural conditions. But I always try to keep it in mind as a basic principle.
What do you think of Literature as a European mother tongue?
I like the imagination of Literature as a European mother tongue and I hope the idea helps to dissolve national borders without making single languages, their peculiarities and literary potentials disappear.