I want to start a discussion about something that’s been on my mind for a long time – do we, as book bloggers, have a moral responsibility to raise awareness about authors from our country?
Sometimes I feel that me, as a book blogger from Romania, have a responsibility to discuss about authors from Romania and promote Romanian literature. Given that I have a platform to share my interests and opinions – this blog – I could also use it to raise awareness about literature written by fellow compatriots from Romania.
However, I usually see at least 2 things that stand in the way – the language of my blog and the fact that I am not super excited to read Romanian authors.
The language barrier
From the first day of blogging I decided to write in English and reach out to English-speaking bloggers all over the world. I wanted to get in touch with readers from far-away places, to find out about what people read on the other side of the world.
As not many Romanian writers are translated, it does not make sens to promote them on my English blog to non-Romanian speakers. Or that’s what I usually tell myself.
However, when I saw the review of Tony on a Romanian book he read – Ciuleandra by Liviu Rebreanu – I realized that my mindset was limiting. Certain Romanian books are actually translated in English and could be accessed by English-speaking people.
Romanian books not on my priority list
Now comes the second issue – lately I haven’t read books written by Romanian authors. It’s not that I am against reading Romanian stories, but I usually prioritize other books. Maybe it’s because I already read quite a lot of Romanian literature during high school (mandatory and also for fun), and I feel like I’ve had enough?
But last weekend, when I had a bit more time on my hands, I picked up a Romanian book – The Useless (RO: Inutilii) by Cornelia Voiculescu. It is a dystopian story about a society where the old people are sacrificed by their grandchildren. The action takes place after a Third World War, in a totalitarian Norwegian society.
The story was super captivating and I enjoyed it despite the initial challenge of reading in Romanian … it might’ve rekindled my interest to read Romanian authors!
My takeaway from this discussion post is that my “excuses” are actually not that valid. It makes sense to raise awareness about Romanian writers on my English-written blog, and there are Romanian books that can keep me hooked on!
So what’s next? I would like to actively prioritize reading at least 1 Romanian author for every 3-4 books I read by foreign authors. And I will share about my journey on the blog, even if the books might not be available in English – who knows, maybe they are in the the process of being translated right now 🙂
How do you feel about reading and promoting authors from your country? Please let me know, I am super interested in how you relate to local authors!
‘Till next time … happy reading!
Cover picture: Jonathan Borba via Pexels