Guest of Honour France (2017) handed over the GuestScroll to Georgia (2018)

A symbolic leave-taking and welcoming

Every year on the last day of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, a very special event takes place. On Sunday afternoon, the acting Guest of Honour takes its leave and hands over the role to the future Guest of Honour in a formal ceremony. An actual object, the “GuestScroll”, was created especially for this purpose and, every year, the next Guest of Honour adds a literary contribution to it. The 2017 Guest of Honour, France, chose a quote from Paul Ricœur:

“Hospitalité où le plaisir d’habiter la langue de l’autre est compensé par le plaisir de recevoir chez soi, dans sa propre demeure d’accueil, la parole de l’étranger.”

In English:“Linguistic hospitality, in which the pleasure of inhabiting the language of others is repaid by the pleasure of receiving the word of the stranger in one’s own home.”

The addition to the “GuestScroll” by Georgia, the Guest of Honour 2018, is an excerpt from the national 12th-century epic “The Knight in the Panther Skin” by Shota Rustaveli:

“The sun shines alike on roses and dung, on everything we see.
You, alike to the greatest and the lowly, merciful should be.
The one who’s getting bound binds himself; the generous bind the free.
The sea’s waters flow in and flow out: be generous like the sea.”

Paul de Sinety, Chairman of “Francfort en français / Frankfurt auf Französisch” (“Frankfurt in French”), concluded: “France’s appearance as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse was at the same time an invitation to the French language. It was a great honour and pleasure for us, and an exceptional opportunity to rethink the Europe of culture together with our German friends. This is a vision we would like to share with our Georgian friends. In this sense, the fact that Georgia has been invited to be the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018 Guest of Honour is very symbolic and we wish our European neighbour beyond the borders of the European Union all the best.”

Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, said: “This year’s Guest of Honour, France, expanded our view of the French-speaking world. We got to know the richness, thematic variety and contradictions of French-language literature, which is written and read far beyond our neighbouring country’s national borders. Georgia’s participation heralds a Guest of Honour whose millennia-old cultural roots remain largely unknown to many of us. We look forward to making literary discoveries, and are very excited to see which personalities and stories the Georgian organising committee will present in October 2018.”

Pénélope Bagieu, French author and illustrator, and the Georgian author Davit Gabunia were present at the stage for the Handover Ceremony.

Georgia’s contribution to the “GuestScroll” was added in the elegantly curved letters of the Georgian alphabet. This unique script is also very important to the British-Georgian singer Katie Melua, who provided the musical accompaniment for the Handover Ceremony: “I have to thank for making me develop a love of reading books, which has played a decisive role in forming my personality”, said the artist. “Georgia is always in my heart. My work is part of my character, which was formed not least by Georgian letters.”

Medea Metreveli, Project Director Guest of Honour 2018, promised that more exciting and unusual encounters lie in store for next year: “With the slogan ‘Georgia - Made by Characters’ we want to present the country’s great literary tradition, which stretches all the way back to the fifth century and is so rich in genres, and the unique script in which it was written”, explained Medea Metreveli. “We want to show how, since Georgia’s independence, Georgian literature has established itself in a completely different and experimental way and has once again developed its own identity. Finally, we want to share with the whole world our historical and cultural experiences and our answer to the challenges of the modern world.”

Note to the editors
We are looking forward to publishing the message in your medium. This press release, as well as the complete press kit with numerous additional information on the Georgian literature, authors, book market and programme can be found here: www.georgia-characters.com/TopMenu/Press.aspx
Press photos for download are available here: www.flickr.com/photos/151985590@N07
More information: www.georgia-characters.com

Contact for the media:
Georgia – Guest of Honour of the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018, Press Office
Mirjam Flender, Kirsten Lehnert c/o projekt2508 GmbH
press@georgia-characters.com – tel. +49 (0) 228 18 49 67-24

France – Guest of Honour of the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017
German-language agency BUCH CONTACT
Murielle Rousseau, Charlot Uhrig and Sina Schuch
buchcontact@buchcontact.de – tel. +49 (0) 761 29 60 4-0

French-language press agency Agence Pierre Laporte
Samira Chabri – Laurent Jourdren – Pierre Laporte
info@pierre-laporte.com – tel. +33 (0) 1 45 23 14 14
 
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About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 278,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers - in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.  www.book-fair.com
 
Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications: +49 (0) 69 2102-138, press@book-fair.com
Kathrin Grün, Director Communications, +49 (0) 69 2102-170, gruen@book-fair.com
Jördis Hille, PR Manager, +49 (0) 69 2102-271, hille@book-fair.com

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