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Oliver Vogel, Publisher, S. Fischer 

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Picture: © Fischerverlage

Videoscript Oliver Vogel

The first book fairs I experienced were when I was a boy. I wrote for the school school newspaper, the Rotstift, and had lied my way into getting a press pass by strange means. I think I was prouder of the press pass than I was of the school newspaper I wrote for.

The first Frankfurter Buchmesse I attended as an employee of a book publisher was in 1993. I was an assistant editor at Suhrkamp and the guest of honour at the book fair was Belgium and the Netherlands. That was the year Dutch literature first gained international recognigition and became successful. I was taken to the book fair by Raimund Fellinger, who introduced me on the first day at the Dutch stand. That's where I met Frank Ligtvoet, who was in charge of the Productiefonds at the time [Nederlands Literair Productie- en Vertalingenfonds NLPVF]. The Productiefonds was the institution in the Netherlands responsible for funding this Guest of Honour appearance. 

Frank Ligtvoet was an incredibly alert, lively, committed man to whom Dutch literature cannot be grateful enough. Frank Ligtvoet liked me and took me under his wing for a week, so to speak. That means that in one week I got to know the entire Dutch publishing scene, all the editors, all the publishers. It was a great adventure that I wouldn't want to miss.