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Literature house opens with music and dance

The official opening of a "House of Literature" in Basel was celebrated with a programme indicating that there will be much more to it than the printed word. But although guests were entertained by music and dance, all of it was text-oriented.

The official opening of a «House of Literature» in Basel was celebrated with a programme indicating that there will be much more to it than the printed word. But although guests were entertained by music and dance, all of it was text-oriented.

"It will have three basic functions," said Walter Brack of the Christoph Merian Foundation, which is providing financial support amounting to nearly two million francs. "The House of Literature is a meeting place for writers and readers, there will be regular lectures, and a writer-in-residence."

"We will also be working with Basel University and local schools," said its director, Margrit Manz.

While one of the aims is to promote the writing and reading of literature locally, the House policy will be far from insular. It has booked the Serbian author Aleksandar Tisma as writer-in-residence for four months beginning in May.

Swiss writers due to give readings and take part in discussions in the coming months include Anne Cuneo, Hugo Loetscher, Hansjörg Schertenleib, Peter Bichsel and Jürg Fedespiel.

by Richard Dawson



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