Tue 10 January 2012

Bart Van Loo in Chartres for citybooks

Bart van Loo © Koen BroosIt’s a coming and going of citybooks authors lately in Chartres. This month Belgian author Bart Van Loo moved into the citybooks residence close to the famous cathedral. He's the fourth author to visit Chartres, right after the Macedonian writer Goce Smilevski, who was there in December.

Monday the ninth of January Van Loo arrived in Chartres for his two week residency. Van Loo is well known for his deeply rooted love of France, French culture, and history, and his oeuvre reflects this love. His last book Chanson: een gezongen geschiedenis van Frankrijk (2011; Chanson: a history of France in songs), for example, has already turned out to be very successful. Among his earlier publications are Als kok in Frankrijk, literaire recepten (As a cook in France, literary recepies), and O vermiljoenen spleet, over seks en erotiek in de Franse literatuur (on sex and eroticism in French literature).

It's clear that Van Loo knows the ins and outs of the country and culture of France, and we’re very curious to find out how he will approach the ‘city of light and perfume’ for his citybook about Chartres. On January the 21st, he will be present at a ‘Rencontre’ in the Médiathèque de l’Apostrophe in Chartres, and we are hoping he will drop some hints on his ideas then. In any case, you can expect more news from Chartres soon on www.city-books.eu!

Goce SmilevskiGoce Smilevski, who already wrote a citybook about his hometown Skopje, stayed in the French town last December. He was very enthousiastic about his experiences in Chartres, which becomes clear from an interview down with him for the local television network in Chartres. You can watch the interview here and hear Smilevski talking about getting to know the city and it’s inhabitants, ‘les Chartrains’.

The medieval character of the city much appealed to the writer. If you're able to read French, you can get acquinted with Smilevski’s work soon, not just via the translations of his citybooks about Skopje and Chartres, but also through the publication of the French translation of his awarded novel Sigmund Freud’s sister. English speakers will have to wait a bit (but not much) longer, unfortunately.


photo Bart Van Loo © Koen Broos



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