NEWS

Rea Galanaki

People involved in culture would do better not to nourish great hopes; not a word was heard on the subject in the famous debate. By its very nature, the job of the writer is a lonely one, but it is often the task of the State to support it. In the past decade, the situation in the book world has changed greatly through the establishment of very serious institutions connected with books and translation. That doesn’t mean everything is rosy, nor could it be. So one might expect those institutions to be cosseted and have some of their wrinkles smoothed out; also greater transparency and objectivity, and possibly the creation of other complementary institutions. Insurance and pensions for writers are in the pipeline at last, and that mustn’t stop. Other things that have stopped (honorary pensions, rights from photocopying) should be re-examined. There should also be some serious programs about books on television even if they don’t attract large audiences. The symbolic gain is inestimable and that always counts when it comes to culture. Let’s hope the new government has imagination, willpower and money for books. That’s not easy, but it may be enough. Rea Galanaki is a writer.