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UC3M Celebrates Sixth Edition of Book Week

UC3M Celebrates Sixth Edition of Book Week

The characters that quit the pages of a book to take to the stage, or what is the same, the relationship between literature and theater, were the focus of the Sixth Book Week at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). However, this event offered a lot more: from publishing to the “friendship” that unites literature with chess, to the history that inspired letters, among many other things.

From April 20th to 24th, the UC3M campuses of Colmenarejo, Getafe and Leganés hosted nearly 40 activities at this book festival. Also, poetry was honored with the Twelfth Rafael Morales Poetry Prize and the poetry contest for secondary schools. Audiovisual creation was recognized with the Shorts and Screenplay Prizes for short film and photography, as was prose with the Eleventh Doris Lessing Short Story Awards and the corresponding prize for secondary schools. A student from Colegio Villa de Griñón, Julio San Román (on the left in the photo), won this prize with his story “No hay que tener miedo de la oscuridad” (It’s Not Necessary to be Afraid of the Dark). “That’s it’s title because we don’t really fear the absence of light, but rather what might be hiding there. When my character goes blind, he is terrified for the entire story, because he can’t see the dangers around him,” explained San Román, who said that this recognition means that his dream of becoming a writer is gradually becoming a reality. “This prize encourages me to keep writing,” he said.

The winner in the university category (dedicated to the British Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, Doris Lessing) was an Audiovisual Communication student, Diego Martín Rodríguez (second on the right in the photo). “Participating in this contest helped me gain confidence in my style of writing and realize that the world of images is complemented quite well by the world of writing,” he noted. However, his story, “Tetramorfos,” might well become a screenplay of interwoven stories in scenarios as different as Palestine, a corrupt business, a job interview in Spain and the UC3M itself.

Inauguration among books and stage

How long can the theater continue to exist? With this question, Jorge Urrutia (Madrid, 1945), Full Professor of Literature at the UC3M, signalled the start of Book Week. In this inaugural conference, which took place on the Getafe campus, this poet, literary critic, essayist and translator analyzed the situation of theater as we know it in the new culture of globalization.

In Leganés as well as in Getafe, a conference was devoted to the “friendship between chess and literature.”  There, it was possible to discover its ample bibliography, some of the works inspired by this game, and to go from theory to practice by way of chess courses. Also, the Getafe campus hosted debates on the relationship between theater and comic strips, the works of the Spanish Golden Age and the role of the sitcom (TV situation comedies) as a product of the theater. Another feature was La Dispensa, the new university magazine, which was presented at this conference in a game with literary prizes.

The Leganés campus was the scene of a debate about the destructive power of love, the role of Négritude in U.S. literature and the role that puppets have played in Spanish literature. Moreover, workshops on flash fiction were offered, among others. The work and passion for publishing books and a meeting between new writers Laura Orens and Rafael González shaped part of the offer that week.

For its part, Colmenarejo had important people visit from the world of art, like painter José Manaut and writer Concha Zardoya. One submerged into times of exile and purification under the guidance of Angel Bahamonde, Full Professor of Contemporary History at the UC3M. Also, the coordinator of the university reading clubs, Pablo Nacach, offered an overview of dualities like beauty and war through short stories from both sides of the Atlantic.

All these events were possible another year thanks to the high degree of collaboration between student groups, editors, writers and professors, and thanks to the enthusiasm of people committed to literature. Student Area, the coordinator of the event, acknowledges them.

More information:

Photo: from left to right, Julio San Román Cazorla, from Colegio Villa de Griñón (first prize for high school short story); Irene Martín Torruella, from Colegio San Javier (second prize for high school short story); Laura Martín Rebollo, from IES Alpedrete (special healthy lifestyles prize for high school); Diego Martín Rodríguez, Audiovisual Communications student (first prize for the Doris Lessing Short Story); and Carlos David Herrero, Computer Engineering and Business Administration student (short story selected for publication on the UC3M web site).

Home image: Bookfaces courtesy of the UC3M Library Service