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Nuits de la lecture 2024: the book and the body in all their forms!

17 janvier 2024 文化
Vue 392 回

The new “Nuits de la lecture” focus this year on the subject of the body over four nights, from 18 to 21 January. The “Nuits” aim at celebrating the pleasure of reading and highlighting reading in all its forms, promoting the resources of libraries, media centres, bookshops and all local cultural equipment.

The “Nuits de la lecture” (Nights of Reading) were created in 2017 by the French Ministry of Culture and are organised for the third consecutive year by the Centre National du Livre to place a bet: throughout the “Nuits”, reading must be a game. So all places of reading, libraries and bookshops, but also museums and theatres, “compete in inventiveness to welcome the broader audience possible on the subject of reading in all its forms”.



The athletic body, but not only that

The audience will be invited this year to gather in thousands of in-person and digital events focusing on the subject of the body. As the website dedicated to the event points out, this subject is some sort of “an echo to the Summer Olympic Games”. Though the “Nuits de la lecture” try to understand how “female and male writers pictured the body in their work”, the body will also be presented under different angles.

Indeed, the body as present in literature offers “endless avatars, metamorphosis and poetic, literary, scientific, sociological and political reflections”. These reflections may be a “poetic evocation”, or an “anatomy subject for science” or “the mirror of a personality trait for a novel or album character” and “a form of hybridisation with technology in science fiction”. But, the website adds that the body is also a very political subject, since it leads to discussing modern and current issues, such as “feminism or the relation of men to nature”.


8,000 actions in 4,000 places in 2023

During the four exceptional evenings (but also during the day), thousands of events are scheduled everywhere in France and beyond its borders in a spirit of creativeness and sharing to exploit the subject of the body and its variations.

The “Nuits de la lecture” are indeed an opportunity to set up meetings and events in libraries and bookshops, but also education institutions, museums, cultural and art places, non-profit association and solidarity places, and even the French institutes in the world, which are places that reaffirm the “critical place of books and reading for everyone”. During the 2023 edition, about 8,000 events in 4,000 places were organised, attracting a “always more people around the pleasure of reading and sharing your reading”.


Events everywhere in France

After Marie Darrieussecq in 2023, writer and philosopher Claire Marin and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj are the sponsors of the 8th edition. In addition to the events supported by the sponsors, the website dedicated to the event offers several highlights everywhere in France. In the Île-de-France region, they include for example:

- the inauguration of the “Nuits de la lecture” at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, on 16 January, where “dramatized readings” are accessible to visitors during the night session of two current exhibitions;

- literature in the Paris metro, on 18, 19, 20, 21 January from 10 pm on all lines of the RATP network, in which short extracts are recorded by theatre actors, including from the Comédie-Française, on the subject of the body;

- the “mille et une langues” (thousand and one languages) at the Institut de France, on 20 January, where member of the French Academy will read under the Coupole of the Académie françaiseextracts they like, piqued their curiosity or caused surprise”.

Many additional events are scheduled in all French regions. It’s worth noting that an original initiative, accessible everywhere, has been set : a poetic voice server, active for the four days and nights of reading, from 18 to 21 January. The voice server was created specifically for the event. It is exploited by a Lille company, Home Théâtre, to offer “a collection of poems on the subject of the body, with a very simple concept”. You just have to dial a free phone number (03 74 09 84 24) to hear on the other side of the line theatre actors reading poems!

The Nuits de la lecture in about 20 countries

And the Nuits de la lecture are not only organised in France! They are indeed scheduled in about 24 additional countries, for more than 70 events between 18 and 21 January. They are:

  • in Germany, at the Institut français of Munich, where the doors “are open to moonlight” for times of friendly readings;
  • in Ecuador, at the Alliance française in Quito, where the institution organises a reading competition in French open to all students;
  • in Spain, at the Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, the city’s most emblematic building, for events on the theme of the body;
  • in the United States, at the Lycée international de Boston, where students can read about the year’s theme;
  • in Hungary, at the French Institute in Budapest, for readings on “performance and the weakening of the body”;
  • in Italy, at the Lycée Chateaubriand in Rome, where the CDI team offers a wide range of literary activities;
  • in Japan, at the French Institute in Tokyo, where readings are organised on the theme of the body;
  • in Morocco, at the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, for events focusing on books and the French-speaking world;
  • in Mongolia, at the Alliance française in Ulan-Bator, which is organising “les 3 J de la littérature francophone” (the three Js of French literature);
  • in Norway, at the French cultural centre in Oslo, for a conference on the body in the work of Simone de Beauvoir;
  • in the Netherlands, at the French bookshop Le temps retrouvé in Amsterdam, where a “reading marathon” of Amélie Nothomb’s novel The Character of Rain is being organised;
  • in the Czech Republic, at the Institut français in Prague, for an evening of French readings;
  • in Romania, at the media library of the Institut français in Bucarest, for a workshop to raise awareness of the French language;
  • in the United Kingdom, at the Institut français of London, where “a special evening” was organised, with dances to “get the bodies moving”;
  • in El Salvador, at the Lycée français of San Salvador, for an evening of reading aloud on the theme of the body;
  • in Sweden, at the Lycée français of Stockholm, for a “nuit blanche de la lecture” (sleepless night of reading);
  • in Taiwan, at Le Pigeonnier bookshop in Taipei, the only French-language bookshop, for a “Dictation and Pictionary competition”;
  • in Zambia, at the Alliance française media library in Lusaka, where teams are encouraging adults and children “to share a text that has marked them”.





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