The noise level before the event in the packed hall gave an idea: Landolf is not the only one who feels good to have so many people together. Authors, translators, publishers, literary mediators and simply literature enthusiasts who have had to do without physical get-togethers in the last two years have come together.
In the next three days they will populate the alleys, halls and pubs of Solothurn. Landolf promised around 120 events and almost as many guests. Guests are writers of all literary genres from Germany and abroad.
The program of the 44th edition of the exhibition of literary creations includes classic readings, talks, panel discussions, spoken-word performances, workshops, exhibitions and themed evenings. And: There are free readings every afternoon on the outdoor stage in front of the St. Ursen stairs.
Already on the opening evening it was noticeable that, against the background of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, many questions will revolve around questions such as: What is this war doing to us in Europe?
Carine Bachmann, Director of the Federal Office of Culture (BAK), referred to Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s quote on her first public appearance in the new office, according to which his freedom as an artist is that he can play with the world. “But what if the world plays with us?” says Bachmann. It is all the more important to defend this freedom.
In addition, the Solothurn Literature Days have the function of building bridges, not least as a platform for translators. “Vive la littérature,” she called into the hall. And Landolf noted that languages could also be symbols of resistance. Rolf Hermann, author and spoken-word artist summed up this role of the Solothurn Literature Days: There, in the “gentle handling of the synthax”, writers realized that the word “‘and’ connects so many things”.