donal mclaughlin

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Windows on the World

The inspiration for the title of this section is not the (former) restaurant in the North Tower of the World Trade Center; nor the novel by the French writer, Frederic Beigbeder; but a fondly-remembered series of events at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Back in the 1990s, Ella Wildridge, the then Dramaturg, organised two or three weekend events per year under this heading. The ‘Windows’ (as they became known) would be e.g. French, or German & Austrian, or Spanish, or Latin American – and over the two days,  the audience would be treated to a number of performed readings, with discussions with the playwrights, their translators, and the cast, following each reading. All this in the intimate atmosphere of Traverse 2… And often continued in the ‘Best Bar in Edinburgh’, upstairs.

Donal’s Windows on the World will highlight not drama from abroad, but the work of fiction writers and poets who are not necessarily known in the UK. Writers whose work may exist, at least in part, in German- or in French-language anthologies – but not in English; or rather: not commercially in Britain or the States. Thankfully, organisations such as the Solothurner Literaturtage in Switzerland, the Slovene Writers’ Association in Ljubljana, and the Latvian Literature Centre in Riga produce books, anthologies and/or magazines in English translation which open up their literatures to interested visitors. Donal – one such visitor – will present here some of the writers he would like to read (much) more of.

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