Opening statement at the Frankfurt Book Fair

The literary programme is the beating heart of the Norwegian Guest of Honour project.

State Secretary Marianne Hagen held the opening statement at the Frankfurt Book Fair on 11 October 2018.
State Secretary Marianne Hagen held the opening statement at the Frankfurt Book Fair on 11 October 2018. Credit: Lars-Erik Hauge, MFA, Oslo

I am happy to announce that in 2019, here in Frankfurt, we will present Norwegian literature to the world in a more extensive way than ever before. Moreover, the works of Norwegian writers will be widely available through literary festivals, houses of literature, bookshops and book fairs all over Germany.

Literature is a unique starting point for dialogue, and for the exchange of ideas and knowledge. As our writers travel and take part in events, they become part of an international dialogue about the arts, democracy and freedom of expression, for which the book fair has always been an important platform.

Norway's Guest of Honour project has a slogan – ‘The Dream We Carry’. It is taken from a poem by one of Norway’s finest poets, Olav H. Hauge. It expresses our hope that the Guest of Honour project will ensure that even more Norwegian literature reaches international publishers and the hearts of new readers all over the world.

I believe there is something for all - novels, poetry, drama, classics, documentary books, educational literature and books for children and youth. In 2018 and 2019 alone, more than 200 titles by Norwegian authors are being translated into German. However, Norwegian literature travels far beyond Germany. Only last year, there were around one thousand Norwegian titles published in translation around the world.

Our authors, both those well-known and new talents, are eager to meet, share moments and have fruitful discussions with their readers.

It often said that patience is a virtue. I would argue that patience is sometimes overrated. That is why we’ve brought a little bit of 2019 to you already this year.

Some of our most distinguished and beloved writers will take part in this year's literary programme here at the new Frankfurt Pavilion and other venues - three of them in just a few moments; Matias Faldbakken, Erling Kagge and Maja Lunde.

It is the dream we carry - that something wonderful will happen during these readings!

Thank you!

Go to the top