Schwob – The Search for the Modern Classic

I started blogging towards the end of 2014. Although I loved it very much and started with five blog posts a week, I couldn’t keep up with my own schedule. Eventually I downgraded to four and at last almost no blog posts a week. The reason? A pretty amazing internship was the reason for my absence in November and December. The best part? It was all about the books!

I would like to present you: Schwob. Schwob is a project of the Dutch Foundation for Literature and tries to encourage reading diversely by creating a platform for ‘the world’s best unknown books’. It started by focusing on Europe alone (there are many authors to be rediscovered from Oslo to Moscow and Stockholm to Athens), but it tries to broaden its scope to encompass literature from all around the world.

Schwob’s aim is threefold. First, to look for modern classics that, despite their literary quality, have yet to be translated for the first time or are in need of newer and more translations. Because these books and their translations aren’t exactly cash cows (but could, of course, be all the new Stoner), Schwob also subsidizes publishing houses for these kind of books. Thirdly, Schwob wants bring readers into contact with these books.

That, my friends, was my job for the past six months. I updated the Schwob websites, e-mailed with critics from all over Europe, dived into literature yet unknown to me and helped with the organization of the Schwob bookclub-event. It has been such a great time discovering the world of books. And naturally, my TBR list has, er, doubled.

The internship at Schwob definitely encouraged me to read more literature from around the globe. One of the first books I picked up was Daemon in Lithuania by Henri Guigonnat. It is a weird little book, but in a good way. Review is coming up very soon! I also discovered Angela Carter, the Queen of the Dark and the Magical. I was very impressed with The Magic Toyshop and I’m looking forward to reading her other work. Both Guigonnat and Carter made me realize I enjoy gothic, mysterious, dark settings and that I like magical and fantastical elements. I could have seen that coming, given the fact that I adored Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling as a child and that one of the reasons I loved Jane Eyre was because of its haunting aspects.

If you can spare a few minutes of your time, please check out the Schwob website. I guarantee that you will be able to add a few more books to your TBR …

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