Frankfurt Book Fair 2019: Narrating the 'Other' in 'Big' and 'Small' Literatures


The question of identity has been the central question of the so called “small” literatures from the second half of the 19th century onward. As history has shown, the search for identity does not end with the moment in which an ethnic or a national group achieves sovereignty. It is a search that starts anew with each encounter with other languages and cultures, a search inspiring the question of belonging that is common to both “big” and “small” literatures.

As will be shown in the conversation with Croatian authors Slobodan Šnajder and Kristian Novak and Austrian author Norbert Gstrein, the increasing interest for the perception of the self and "Other" is a shared feature of both Croatian as well as German literature. The authors will discuss the necessary prerequisites and features of a “small” literature with respect to language and other cultural factors. In addition to that, they will focus on the question how literature constitutes the "Other", i.e. construes diversity and contributes to a more democratic society and whether identities construed within literature are historically conditioned.

Needless to say, this discussion will also have to take into consideration that writing the “Other” also means changing the image of the self and possibly has some unwanted side effects. Finally, all these questions will be put in the context of recent global phenomena such as the migrant crisis which has significantly influenced European societies and their ideas of inter- and multiculturality. 

Date: Friday, October 18, 19:00 h
Place: Kreativ-Agentur plan-J, Kleyerstraße 46-48, 60326 Frankfurt am Main
Participants: Slobodan Šnajder, Norbert Gstrein, Kristian Novak
Moderation: Jelena Spreicer

Access: free of charge (with the fair ticket)
Language: German

** (c) Frankfurter Buchmesse