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Monday, February 07, 2011 - 6.57 GMT

Galle Literary festival is a haven of civilized values - Robert McCrum


The Galle literary festival is a showcase of international literary values and a haven of benign civility. Galle represents the best of the amateur principle and provides an impressive voluntary programme of social and cultural renewal.

So said Robert McCrum, associate editor of the UK Observer, after attending the Galle festival as a guest.

Ever since the Hay festival set up shop overseas in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2006, literary festivals have been going global, like the English language, he said.

Just as Hay reflects the personality of its founder, Peter Florence, Galle made the image of its creator, Geoffrey Dobbs. He started the Galle festival, singlehanded, and has worked tirelessly to raise audiences and sponsorship, develop local literary workshops and promote education, Robert McCrum further states.

The formerly Dutch Galle fort remains an oasis of colonial history and is the focus of the festival, he said.

So the festival looks like a beacon of hope, optimism and good shine for years to come, McCrum said.

He is the co-author of The Story of English (1986), and has written six novels.

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Last modified: February 07, 2011.

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