Kosmopolis 15

Presentation K15

With each new outing, Kosmopolis explores what’s going on in the space where literature, in the broadest sense, reinterprets the past, imagines the future and helps us to understand a constantly changing present. Literature expands under its own steam and with the help of the rest of the arts and sciences. The big discussions continue, with new strategies: reality and fiction, mixed genres, the influence of the classics, the virtues and limitations of the paper book, the rights of the reader and emphasis on the authors—plus the uncharted areas where we continue to search for the new.

At K15, the work of W. G. Sebald provides the leading thread in an examination of the history of the 20th century and its projections into our present—a time when crises and new technologies are changing ways of creating, producing and distributing. We visit writing labs, explore the new challenges facing journalism, analyse changes in the publishing world and the emergence of new kinds of writers and readers. This research extends to the audiovisual landscape, the power of the spoken word, transmedia narrative and an ongoing revision and reinvention of the canon. And this is why we’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a fiercely contemporary work that speaks to us about the sense and nonsense of our world.

With or without the internet, literature continues to create its own networks, and we’re here to share them. Five days of dialogue, lectures, workshops, readings, films, games and experiments offer an antidote to pessimism and despair. A high-intensity programme uncovers the fictions of reality and the reality of fictions—welcome back to Kosmopolis, the festival of literature in all its aspects.

Juan Insua
Director of Kosmopolis