Monday, July 4

An Alicante Book Fair surrounded by controversy

(Read the full manifest here)

The trigger for this rejection arises after the presentation of the fair last Monday in Manresa, and the director of the Malaga company Makyre, in charge of its management after being chosen in the tender, performed for the first time. Asked the councilor for this newspaper about the scarce presence of Alicante, the mayor replied: “They are those who are and come who have wanted to come”, after indicating that this year his intention was “to open the fair a little more to the rest of Spain” and defend the national firms that come (Manuel Vilas, Lorenzo Silva, Manuel Jabois, etc.). Subsequently, Manresa raised the number of Alicante to 13 for two round tables in which the Alicante Writers Association participates, an entity that groups together authors who resort to desktop publishing or co-publishing.

But those first words of the councilor have been enough to promote a manifesto, which in this case has been started on his blog by the writer Fernando Parra -finalist of the Azorín Prize in 2019, who has just launched a new novel-, and which other writers have quickly joined. Until the end of this article, more than 61 people have subscribed, 39 of them writers and another 22 adherents of people linked to culture.

The Manifesto in defense of the writers of Alicante in his first paragraph he advances that those who subscribe to it «do not aspire to feel essential in any cultural event. Nor at the Alicante Book Fair “and he clarifies:” What we are denouncing here is the instrumentalization of Literature itself for spurious purposes and the public affront suffered by the writers of Alicante “by the councilor, who, in his opinion, had” the audacity of declaring that his shameful neglect of local authors for the present fair had to do with our own neglect towards the event ».

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The Councilor for Culture of Alicante, Antonio Manresa. | HÉCTOR FUENTES

“But to ” want to come ” one must first know if they want to be invited,” continues the writing, adding that “delegating to the supposed lack of enthusiasm” of the writers “the complete forgetfulness and disdain” of the Councilor constitutes a “double baseness” on the part of Manresa for “ignoring his own responsibility” in the design of the fair and “lying” by “blaming” the writers – who are not involved in preparing the event – for his absence.

The author of the text, Fernando Parra, wants to make it clear that the manifesto “is not a kicking of offended writers, but the verification that the management of the event has not been adequate” and claims to have spoken with editors interested in attending the fair “And they have not seen a way to offer to participate.”

“It is not a kicking of offended writers, it is a confirmation that the management of the event has not been adequate”


He does express his “outrage” at the words of the councilor, “whose lack of foresight for bidding the management of the fair to a Malaga company, which does not know the territory, delegates it to the writers.”

“That they don’t invite us doesn’t bother us; It bothers us that he puts things in our mouth that have not happened “, explains Parra about the non-invitation of recognized names in the literature of the province. Nor does he understand absences such as that of the Alicante authors nominated for the Valencian Critics Awards, which are decided on May 22.

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Key Accession

Precisely the organizers of these awards, the Valencian Association of Writers and Literary Critics (Clave), with some two hundred members, “publicly subscribe and support” the manifesto, which it has sent to its members and to other groups of writers, both Valencian and other points of Spain.

On the other hand, the Councilor for Culture has declined to comment further.

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