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Solothurn festival goes on-line with virtual literature

Could reading a book be a thing of the past in the internet age? Keystone Archive

The Internet is one of the main themes of this year's literature festival in Solothurn, which is holding a series of debates on the impact of the electronic age on literature.

This content was published on May 23, 2001 - 20:51

Writers and other participants at the festival, which ends on Sunday, will be exploring various aspects of online literary expression, and hoping to come up with answers to a question of major concern to the publishing industry: is the Internet a threat to the future of books?

The organisers say that while the Internet has proved to be a useful research tool for writers and many works of literature have been available on-line for some time, virtual literature is still a phenomenon largely unknown to the reading public.

Among those participating in the festival are German-language writers who will give public readings of their cyber fiction.

But the festival will not be neglecting the traditional world of books. Another theme is contemporary Swiss literature, and the authors of published fiction in Switzerland's four national languages are there to present their latest works to the public.

As in previous years, the Solothurn literary event also has an international flavour. A workshop on book translation will be conducted by writer Sylviane Chatelain, accompanied by her translator, Yla von Dach.

Four writers from Ukraine have been invited to talk about modern literature in their country, while other participants include authors from Germany, France, Austria and Italy.

swissinfo with agencies

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