9th Filven focuses on promotion of Venezuelan literature

The 9th Filven (Venezuelan International Literature Festival) began in Caracas on 13 March 2013 and will run until 20 March. Unlike previous festivals, this FILVEN is not dedicated to any one country, but instead to learning from the examples of many countries to develop plans for promoting literature in Venezuela and Venezuelan literature around the world. This decision comes from a desire to follow up on the 2012 Survey of Reading Behaviour, Access to Books and Reading, which studied the reading habits of Venezuelans. The festival, whose tagline this year is “Viva la lectura”, will also pay tribute to poet Gustavo Pereira (1940).

President of Cenal (National Centre for Books) Christian Valles opened Filven 2013 with a speech appealing to mourners of the late President (as AVN reports here):

“Si todos somos Chávez, tenemos que ser lectores y promover ese entrañable afecto que Chávez sentía por la lectura”.

“If we are all Chávez, we all have to be readers and promote this deep fondness that Chávez felt for reading”.

In an interview with Michelle Roche Rodriguez for El Nacional (read the full article here), Valles explained some of the aims of both this Filven and further work by Celan, as well as the key issue of the lack of Venezuelan literature in national education.

“Lo importante es que también construyamos la identidad de la literatura venezolana para promoverla. Una de nuestras preocupaciones es que las escuelas de Letras de este país no enseñan literatura venezolana. En el porcentaje total del pensa lo que se enseña de literatura venezolana es mínimo y no se compensa con el dedicado al estudio de la literatura latinoamericana, griega o a los clásicos. Las universidades deben profundizar la investigación y el estudio de nuestra literatura para que podamos formar lectores y docentes que sean capaces de promover a nuestros autores y sembrar el gusto por la lectura”.

“The important thing is that we always build an identity for Venezuelan literature in order to promote it. One of our worries is that literature departments in this country do not teach Venezuelan literature. In the overall percentage of the curriculum, what is taught of Venezuelan literature is minimal and it doesn’t make up for the percentage dedicated to Latin American literature, or Greek, or the classics. Universities should further research and study of our literature so that we can train readers teachers capable of promoting our authors and sowing the taste for reading”. 

The discussions taking place at Filven will feed in to a new State plan for the promotion of literature in Venezuela.

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