Onwards and upwards with Luxemburgensia

By Natalia PiknaLex Kleren

What does the publishing industry of a small multilingual country look like? Luxembourg’s publishers and authors weigh in on what makes Luxembourg’s literary scene so unique, for better or worse.

There is no denying that Luxembourg has put in considerable effort to encourage its culture as well as its literary market over the past decade through grants, prizes, initiatives and institutions – an effort which is starting to bear its fruits. To name just a few, there is the yearly National Literary Prize, the institution Kulturlx, the Walfer Bicherdeeg, the Printemps des Poètes and the Centre National de Littérature (CNL). While some of these have been active for some years already, the significance of the industry seems to have become more obvious for the country in recent times.

This development has not gone unnoticed by the publishers who have been on the scene for a while. Marc Binsfeld, the head of Éditions Guy Binsfeld – a publishing house with more than forty years of expertise – says he has witnessed a certain degree of professionalisation. "Not to say that previously people weren’t doing a good job, but I notice a global will at the level of the book industry for this betterment." He mentions, among others, the presence of very dynamic publishers and a true exchange with booksellers which has been established. Marc Binsfeld is also vice president of the Federation of Luxembourgish Publishers (Fédération des Éditeurs Luxembourgeois) and a member of the CNL and remarks on the explosion of initiatives. "All in all, it has been a step in the right direction and we can notice a positive evolution of the market in the past decade." According to him, this also stems from a new awareness within the country that Luxembourg’s book market is indeed valuable.

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