This day is an opportunity to make without complacency, the diagnosis of the evils that gnaw the literary milieu and invites you all to look for lifesaving remedies. The evil does not lie in the increasing rate of published works, nor in the number of writers who are growing, let alone in the successive appearance of icons that have marked the great pages of African and world literature. The evil lies in the African literature that staggers at all levels. By CN Ahmada
Literary works are left in limbo in favour of other artistic creations. Meetings are preferred to dedication ceremonies. Visas are more difficult for writers than for other artists. A subsidy that is increasingly lacking alongside the rise in the price of books. Where are the libraries in the schools? In such a context how to make knowledge love through books?
Things must not be managed by a narrow circle that does not want to give way to young people. A generational alternation is desirable because talent abounds .
We must now build our future by the new blood of youth so as not to let ourselves be surprised by a future that is progressing rapidly. The “yama nekh” must be banished in favor of skills. We interpret the associations of writers who must work tirelessly for the spread of the book shared by and for all.There are few literary prizes awarded.
It is rare to see in our media programs devoted to books, no policy to encourage young people in writing, and yet the talent is there.
We note other observations on the increased lack of committees of reading of publishing houses. We wonder if there are proofreads to ensure that there are no mistakes because we find them in spades in some books: mistakes of the author and especially those of publishing houses.
Some publishing houses make some works their flagship but copyright on translations hardly fall. Such a long letter is a perfect illustration of this. This book cannot even be protected. It is reproduced every year in a hundred books in a fraudulent manner, to the detriment of the rights holders, likewise for many other books.
The digital version lowers the sales rate. Are we computer-armed to fight this form of piracy?
Publishing houses must respect contracts of engagement. Earn the trust of writers. To promote the product entrusted to them, because it is an important clause of the contract but often trampled.
It is up to us to find urgent solutions before evil becomes a serious gangrene .
The Minister of Culture should be involved effectively.
Book fairs must multiply the literary awards likewise. The book fairs must not be tourist opportunities for certain authorities who do not go there, not for the promotion of the book, for themselves.
We need to review the selection criteria for those who have to go there …. On what basis do we select them? Why the same heads? Why a lack of clear information for the selection of the Head of State Award for Letters and many literary events like this day of the writer?
The books must be subsidized so that they are accessible.
Let us build our future now with the new blood of youth and let us not be surprised.
The media must play their part by promoting the books.
Writers must arm themselves with rigour in order to produce quality works.
There’s no point in running. Quantity is not important but quality, works that will transcend space and time.
Our pious thoughts go out to all those African writers and letter writers whose voices have been silenced after opening the door to us. Tribute to Al Farùq recently gone to the heavenly kingdom!
May God welcome them to Paradise. Amiine! To those who are still here, long life and success.
Long live the Book!
By CN Ahmada