French literature attracts citizens

French literature attracts citizens

Avid Readers

French literature attracts citizens

The wait for an year for that one fair, which brings in tons of literature from around the globe – to guide and help us academically, professionally and personally, ended recently.

The New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 at Pragati Maidan had a vast display of books by domestic publishers but the highlight was the international section especially that of the guest country, the France pavilion.

“It was six or seven years back when France participated in World Book Fair held in New Delhi for the first time. At the time we had a small stall in one corner of the hall. It feels privileged that this year we have been chosen as guest country at the fair and we have a big store where people can sit, read and enjoy some French cuisine as well,” says Judith  Oriol, Book Attachée at Institut Français.

Well, France participation at this year’s fair was also to promote French literature in India as a part of its ongoing Bonjour Festival. With more than 1500 books in one big pavillion catering to bibliophiles of all age groups, the collection had popular and colourful story books of France, a variety of fiction and non-fiction works in humanities and social sciences giving a sneak peek into the rich array of work by French
authors.

Interestingly, the  books were selected by the Bureau for the International Promotion of French Books (BIEF). “There are three members in BIEF who select books which will be displayed in different countries. The books at the fair were one which would most likely be of great interest to Indian readers,” explains Judith.

Undoubtedly, the selected books attracted avid readers and not only foreigners but Delhiites too thronged the pavilion. According to Judith the response was excellent and it was quite visible from the scene at the cash counter. “Initially, we were skeptical but all our doubts were cleared when people visited our stall and purchased armful of books,” says Judith.

Translated of original French works were the most in demand. A lot of classical French literary work and books on humanities were the preferred choices. It included Clement’s Rosset ‘The Real is Double’, bestselling fiction ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and Dr Anne De Rancourt’s ‘Three foot four inches to
name some.

Another interesting section at the pavilion was a small cafeteria where tea, coffee and French snacks were made available. French films like La Deicatesse, L’ Autre, Asterix were also regularly screened at Shakuntalam Theatre
nearby.  

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