Wednesday 10 September 2008

Rome to host International Jewish Literature Festival

Article by Daniel Mosseri, EJP

The first edition of the International Jewish Literature Festival in Italy will take place in Rome from 20 to 24 September.

Writers, journalists, critics and emerging talents will gather at the Casa dell'Architettura to present their works and to discuss their views on various themes of Jewish culture.

Literature has always played an important role in Jewish culture. Jewish literature is wide and multifaceted, ranging from humorous to dramatic, from fictional to historic, not to mention the infinite array of holy texts and comments thereof.

The festival gives a glimpse of this universe which requires a long exploration.

Many still remember the controversy that struck the last edition of the Turin Book Fair, in which a tribute to Israel's 60th anniversary brought a number of anti-Israeli demonstrations.

According to the organizers, this Rome festival aims at somehow counteracting this prejudice by presenting and analyzing the works of such an important literary tradition.

"Many people associate Judaism with little more than the Shoah and Israel" explains Shulim Vogelmann, writer and organizer of the festival together with Ariela Piattelli and Raffaella Spizzichino.

"Literature can be a useful tool to reveal its complexity and to show its deepest roots and its most subtle shades," he added.

The four-day festival features readings, poetry, panels, discussions, a film screening, and a writing contest, all of this enriched by the presence of a number of special guests."

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