December 13, 2017
Saturday, April 26, 2014

Eclectic Saturday at the Book Fair

Alfaguara’s children’s literature stand at the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
Alfaguara’s children’s literature stand at the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
Alfaguara’s children’s literature stand at the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
By Lorenzo Miquel
For The Herald
Visitors can enjoy the special City’s Night free admission from 9pm to 1am

In his second visit to the Book fair —1977 — Jorge Luis Borges claimed to be “astonished that such a solitary activity as the writer’s had convened such an enormous mob.” This proves to be true year after year, especially today — the always-intense first weekend of the Book fair, with its classical free-of-charge City’s Night.

Speaking of famous writers, surely one of the main events of the evening will be the presentation of Arturo Pérez Reverte’s latest novel El francotirador paciente. The acclaimed author will be interviewed by journalist Jorge Fernández Díaz at 4.30pm in the Jorge Luis Borges Hall.

Those carrying children around will be happy to visit a special area — the Patio Infantil — in which a mayor part of the activities focused on the little ones will occur. One of those activities will be a workshop on engraving, print and paper, at 2pm. A few hours later, at 5pm, children from eight to 12 years old may participate in a special workshop that covers novels and comic-books. Throughout the whole evening, several story-telling events may catch the attention of both toddlers and youngsters.

History buffs have two book presentations that may interest them, though they must choose only one — regrettably, both of them start at 8.30pm. On the one hand, journalist Víctor Hugo Morales will be conducting an interview with Eduardo Jozami, author of 2922 días. Memorias de un preso de la dictadura at the Javier Villafañe Hall. On the other hand, Mara Espasande, Norberto Gallaso and Maximiliano Molocznik will be discussing Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. Antes de ser El Che, presented by Che Guevara’s nephew: Martín Guevara.

For a further understanding of Sao Paulo — this year’s guest city at the Book Fair — and its cultural expressions, sociologist Sergio Miceli will be speaking at 4.30pm in the area dedicated to the guest city. A student of the late sociologist Pierre Bourdieu — whose studies on the socially-constructed aspects of culture proved to be of a great intellectual value in academic circles and beyond — Miceli devoted his career to investigate Sao Paulo’s cultural and artistic ambits.

Science enthusiasts will be pleased to attend the different lectures that Zona Explora has to offer. An interactive lecture called Imagining Science — scheduled for 3.30pm — will mark the beginning of the area’s activities. An hour and a half later, the Let’s talk science cycle will gather different scientists who will take the stage to discuss popular science until 8pm. Afterwards, a chess workshop will work as an intermission to the area’s last activity: an interactive display titled Staying up late with science.

Starting at 9pm until 1am, admission will be free due to this year’s edition of the City’s Night. Upon their arrival, visitors will find an enormous Goose Game in the main arena — painted by celebrated Argentine artist Milo Locket — which will depict 40 years of Argentine literature.

A couple of hours after the presentation of Pérez Reverte’s latest novel, the Jorge Luis Borges Hall will certainly be packed again — for a very different type of event. As night falls over the city, the ongoing buzzing atmosphere outside the hall will transfer to the interior as Tulipa Ruiz’s self-defined “flowery pop” songs inaugurate the evening’s musical side. Representing Sao Paulo — Ruiz’s hometown — the journalist-turned-musician will be performing an hour-and-a-half set starting at 8.30pm. After that, several local bands and artists (such as Bicicletas, 107 Faunos and El Remolón) will lead a lively and danceable musical atmosphere, which will surely reach an interesting peak during the presentation of Simja Dujov and his unique fussion of “gipsy-cumbia-cuarteto-surf,” as he likes to define it.

For those who favour a more “traditional” approach, the City’s Night will be hosting at 10.30pm a classy finale with Cortázar from jazz — a special homage to the author’s musical genre of choice (some bebop-induced tunes may be expected) conducted by highly-awarded trumpet player Mariano Loiácono and his equally lauded Quintet. A sort of final note to conclude this eclectic symphony of a day.

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