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Home Archive January 2011

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Out and About

Russian Book Fair
Ian Mitchell

etween the 1st and 5th December the 12th International Book Fair was held in the Central House of Artists, or New Tretyakov Gallery, opposite the Park of Rest and Culture in central Moscow. This is where the best of Russian publishing shows off its wares and also where foreign publishers interested in the Russian market gather to buy Russian titles for translation and sell their own titles into the Russian market. Unlike most such fairs—the biggest in the world being New York, London and Frankfurt—the Moscow one is also open to the general public, which adds a literary aspect to the otherwise commercial atmosphere. The special guest this year was France, which had a huge stand in the central hall, but many other countries were also present, from Ireland to Finland, including the Czech republic, which was last year’s special guest. They hosted a number of parties, the best of which was at the Café Mart in Petrovka where a mix of poetry reading and jazz music was helped by a supply of Czech beer (see picture). This was Moscow bohemia old-style, as it existed before the “culture” of Malls laid its dead hand on the life of what was once a great literary city. Don’t miss next year’s event.

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