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The Catalan culture programme bids farewell to Leipzig with a party

Today Catalan culture held the last of its programmed activities at the Leipzig Book Fair (held from 22 to 25 March). These events, held within the precinct of the Book Fair and at other venues around the city, were focused on literature but also encompassed language, music, and cuisine. Last night, at one of the city's iconic venues, the Tangomanie, these four aspects were brought together before an audience given over to the authors and artists participating in the Catalan party.

Catalan Party

Catalan Party.

The writer Eduard Márquez commenced the evening's events at the Tangomanie with a reading of fragments from El silenci dels arbres, a novel that has recently been translated into German, accompanied by the violinist Bettina Wundrak. The evening continued as dishes of meatballs with cuttlefish or braised peas were served.

There was a recital of poetry by some of the new voices in Catalan poetry, Isidre Martínez, Teresa Colom, Gemma Gorga, Núria Martínez and Carles Rebassa, and this was followed by a performance of Catalan rumba by the group Sabor de Gràcia which brought the audience to its feet on the dance floor.

At the Book Fair today (Sunday) the last of the Catalan language classes was held. On three consecutive mornings these classes have attracted impromptu students to the Institut Ramon Llull stand. This was later followed by a debate between the authors David Jou and Thomas Rosenlocher about the relation between poetry and science. The closing ceremony consisted of the presentation of the novels Un crim perfecte by Teresa Solana and La ciutat invisible by Emili Rosales.

Taking part in the Catalan culture programme at the Leipzig Book Fair were authors such as Carles Batlle, Empar Moliner, Joan Margarit, Montserrat Abelló, Enric Sòria, Margalida Ballester, Miquel de Palol and Maria Barbal and musicians such as Perico Sambeat, Xavier Monge and Rai Ferrer.

The participation of Catalan culture at the Leipzig Book Fair was presented last Thursday by the director of the IRL, Josep Bargalló, the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos and the publisher of the scholarly journal Transfer, Gustau Muñoz. Catalan culture is to be the guest of honour at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair and Juergen Boos described its contribution to the Leipzig Book Fair as an opportunity to "form a first impression of its plurality, dynamism and vitality".

Over the course of these four days, events have been held within the precinct of the Book Fair itself as well as at other cultural venues around this, the city of Johan Sebastian Bach, including the Schille theatre, Gohliser castle and the Tangomanie.

By Saturday 104,000 people had visited the Leipzig Book Fair and that figure is forecast to rise to almost 130,000 today.

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