Poetic contraventions of the Library of Geneva

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■ Brussels welcomes Switzerland

With some 70,000 visitors each year, the Brussels Book Fair is one of the major French-speaking events. However, if Switzerland were to be the guest of honor in 2021, health conditions force an adaptation. The invitation is not canceled, but simply postponed to 2022. On the other hand, events will take place all this year, to initiate this presence.

While the Tour & Taxis buildings will not glow red and white, this festival approach, scheduled for May 6 to 16, will allow publishers to present a foretaste of all their editorial diversity. It is also an exchange of good practices, while Belgium was honored at the Geneva Book Fair in 2019, with great success.

“The French-speaking Belgian market, which has several similarities with that of French-speaking Switzerland, constitutes an important outlet for potential readers for our publishers”, indicates the LivreSuisse association. It is in fact the second largest export market for Swiss book production. And I promise, no one will talk about chocolate.


■ Ecce Umberto Eco

After three years of negotiations, with the author’s rights holders, Italy finally reached an agreement. The Eco family sold part of the Umberto Eco library – 30,000 books. The Ministry of Culture thus becomes the promoter of this collection, through two establishments.

The first part concerns the Bibliotheca semiologica Curosa, lunatica, magica et pneumatica, ie 1,200 old works, which will be entrusted to the National Library of Milan. The other will attach documents from the University of Bologna, where Umberto Eco has been a teacher for several years.

“The state will ensure its conservation, presentation and use for students and academics. A scientific committee made up of five members, including two appointed by the heirs of Eco and two others by MiBACT [ministère pour les Biens et Activités culturels, NDLR] will be responsible for establishing the terms of conservation, ”said the ministry in a press release. With the prospect of guaranteeing digital access to all works for researchers.


■ 2 million books just a click away

The Internet Archive platform operates a work of ant and titan, proceeding to the digitization of books. With a recently crossed threshold of 2.1 million titles available. However, American publishers do not see the company in a favorable light: some of the digitized works remain protected by copyright, and a trial will take place to define whether or not the use is fully legal.

As such, the site has just broadcast a video explaining, through the menu, how the works are digitized. A device that is quite simple, despite its apparent complexity, associated with software that transforms photos into text files. To experiment on long winter evenings.

■ Poetic fines

Outside of the Christmas period, there are no motorists who appreciate the logs. And yet, the municipal libraries of Geneva, neither really turned towards the kitchen nor towards the fines, have decided to distribute them at will. With the “Windshield in rhymes” operation, initiated on February 6, establishments are offering to stick real-false tickets on cars.

However, rather than demanding money from the owners of badly parked cars, these fines actually offer a short poetic text, a quote from a large (or small) work … in short, to share a little literature with humor.

To participate, simply go to this page, in order to fill and personalize his log. Note, for all intents and purposes, that the municipal library of Eaux-Vives is for the moment closed, since February 1, for work.


Nicolas Gary is site director News


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