When different literary scenes interact
The 38th edition of the Ljubljana Book Fair - By Patrícia Patriarca, Writer PT
After meetings, multiple workshops, getting together with so many different personalities and diverse origins, zoom meetings, learning and much mental stimulation, I could perform in a country that is not mine, in a language that I didn't know the fruit of labour. And it felt so good.
The culmination of this very original, didactic, and inspiring project translates into a presentation at a literary festival. But not just any presentation. It’s a theatrical performance where I tried to lead the listener to feel the text as if it were his own, or as if he were more than understanding it, living it. And my festival was the 38th Literary Festival in the beautiful Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.
This city is like being transported back in time and caught in the fantasy of seeing the shadow of some winged wings of a beautiful dragon cutting the sky. A girl can always dream.
And it was this dream that brought me here. Needless to say, nerves are always a presence at these events and this one was no exception. Which is good. It simply means that I understand the opportunity, I realise the greatness of the event and, most importantly, I don't want to disappoint anyone, including myself.
I put on my brave face, armed with my smile and decided that this moment was the ideal moment to be the protagonist and not the character who has the secondary role in this film.
I opened the doors of the space where the literary festival took place and quickly relaxed. The stands were original and several strategic points in the space had stages and chairs for the presentations and round tables that took place that week. One of the positive points was the audience that always proved to be very adherent to this event and with emphasis on young people and children who were a constant presence.
We had a relaxed and informal rehearsal that made me and Maruša Fakin much more confident in the good outcome of our performance. After the rehearsal there was time to reconnect and to get to know each other a little more, courtesy of the CELA project that provided friendships for life. With the castle in the background, we enjoyed a hot tea and a creamy hot chocolate and got ready for the next day.
The performance went better than I expected. The fact that I felt so well supported by the project managers and that I was accompanied by my incredible translator made all the difference for everything to go well. I had the opportunity to meet Slovenian authors, editors from big publishing houses and to understand a little more of this literary reality so different from the Portuguese. In a relaxed conversation I was able to talk about my children's book and the possibility of it being translated into Slovenian.
Besides the very positive personal aspect of this project, I bring with me some of the knowledge of other professionals in this area and have an open door to continue Connecting Emergent Literary Artists.