From Frankfurt Book Fair to Frankfurt Book Fair: Dutch-Language Literature in Germany, 1990-2015
Keywords:Frankfurt Book Fair – Frankfurter Buchmesse, Dutch literature – Nederlandstalige literatuur, literary translation flows – literaire vertaalstromen, German Book market – Duitse boekenmarkt, Dutch Foundation for Literature – Nederlands Letterenfonds
In 2016 Flanders and the Netherlands were joint Guests of Honour at the 68th Frankfurt Book Fair with a broad cultural presentation. In 1993 the Netherlands and Flanders had already had the honour of being the so-called Schwerpunkt [focus of interest] of the Book Fair. In the years before 1993, an average of fifteen titles per year were translated into German, while after this event around this number rose to about thirty. This can be considered a modest breakthrough of Dutch-language literature in the German language area. This article discusses the developments regarding the Dutch-language literature on the German book market until 2015. Is there a sustained interest and appreciation for the Dutch-language literature in Germany since 1993 or does this ‘literary fashion’ seem to fade? Are the German translations of Dutch literary works seen as representatives of ‘the’ Dutch literature, or are they judged by the prestige of their individual authors? This contribution will investigate the role of author reputations, the functioning of the Dutch Foundation for Literature as well as the relationships between Dutch and German publishers and translators in the promotion of Dutch literature in the German language area.