The European Union announced today that a subsidy of €200,000, the maximum, has been granted to the Schwob.nl project to enable it to expand into an international network, a European portal for the best unknown books of world literature.
Alexandra Koch, editor-in-chief of Schwob.nl, is extremely pleased: ‘It’s fantastic and important news. It means not just that – in this time of cuts to culture funding – we can continue our efforts to bring ‘art house’ books to the attention of Dutch publishers and readers, but that Schwob can actually be taken to a higher level and become a European movement.’
The Dutch Foundation for Literature launched Schwob.nl in 2011 as a website and organization that facilitates the promotion of literature from all parts of Europe that has not yet appeared in translation. It allows translators and publishers to share their knowledge of modern classics with each other and with readers. Schwob is now about to start operating at a European level. The Dutch Foundation for Literature will cooperate with literature foundations and partners in six other countries: Catalonia (Institut Ramon Llull), Finland (Finnish Literature Exchange), France (European Society of Authors), Poland (Polish Book Institute), Belgium (Flemish Literature Fund) and the UK (Wales Literature Exchange).
The partners will work together on the selection, distribution and promotion of ‘Schwob titles’ – the truffles of world literature; exceptional but hard to find or undiscovered modern classics that whet the appetite. They will come together twice a year to select ten titles. From among those, each will select the five titles they find most suitable for their own language area, which they will then present to publishers and promote via the website, at festivals and through other activities.
The Schwob project proposal was considered along with 475 other applications to the European Union’s Culture Programme (budget 2013). A total of 114 projects were chosen, including four of the thirteen applications from the Netherlands. The Schwob plans were very well received, gaining 84 of a possible 100 points. The project’s approach embraces the EU motto ‘the common language of Europe is translation’, while the breadth, quality and effectiveness of Schwob’s network of partners were among the most important reasons for its success. The maximum subsidy of €200,000 for the coming two years has been allocated, 50% of the total cost of the project.
This month a new, expanded, bilingual edition of the Schwob website will be launched, as a prelude to this Europe-wide collaboration.
- Alexandra Koch, editor-in-chief of Schwob, [email protected], or Hanneke Marttin, press and publicity, [email protected], at the Dutch Foundation for Literature, tel +31 20 520 73 00, www.letterenfonds.nl.
- EU subsidies: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/culture/funding/2012/selection/selectionstrand1212012en.php