- Title: Nobel prize winner Tokarczuk calls for democracy revival in Poland
- Date: 10th October 2019
- Summary: BIELEFELD, GERMANY (OCTOBER 10, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** LITERATURE NOBEL PRIZE WINNER, OLGA TOKARCZUK, GETTING OUT OF CAR / REPORTER ASKING (English): "How do you feel?" TOKARCZUK ANSWERING (English): "I'm still surprised, it's crazy. It was the strangest place to get the Nobel Prize - on a highway between Berlin and Bielefeld." / REPORTERS SURROUNDING TOKARCZUK TOKARCZUK WITH MEDIA TOKARCZUK WALKING INSIDE BUILDING TOKARCZUK ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHERS TAKING PICTURES OF TOKARCZUK TOKARCZUK SEATED BEFORE CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 2018 LITERATURE NOBEL PRIZE WINNER, OLGA TOKARCZUK, SAYING: "I know that I am quite a good writer, but I never thought that in my life I would win this kind of prize, so I think that I have to change my mind completely now. But I'm also very happy that there are two of us - Peter Handke, the big Austrian writer and this prize is going to central Europe, which is unusual, incredible in fact. And for me as a Polish (person) it shows that despite all those problems with democracy in my country, we still have something to say to the world and we have very strong literature, very strong culture and I am part of this big, big power which is in my country, in central Poland, in central Europe." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) 2018 LITERATURE NOBEL PRIZE WINNER, OLGA TOKARCZUK, SAYING: "It (writing) makes me alive, it is something connected with my body. Sometimes I like this metaphor - like the people who used to give blood for other people. So your body is accustomed to this, giving out your blood from time to time and the same is with me, that this is my kind of organic habit to get away my words, my thoughts, so I couldn't live, I think, without writing even if my readers will decide it is stupid and bad." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) 2018 LITERATURE NOBEL PRIZE WINNER, OLGA TOKARCZUK, SAYING: "Everybody used to tell me that it will be different, you know, from my calls from my friends, everything will be different. Now I don't feel that it is something really different - I'm still supposed to be here in Bielefeld and have a reading with my book and so I am doing my profession. And of course, perhaps it's a lack of imagination - let's see (how I feel) tomorrow, let's see in the next days." TOKARCZUK STANDING AFTER NEWS CONFERENCE TOKARCZUK TALKING, TURNING TO LEAVE CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 24th October 2019 18:03
- Keywords: Nobel prize literature nobel prize Olga Tokarczuk Poland
- Location: BIELEFELD, GERMANY
- City: BIELEFELD, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Books,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0INSXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, who on Thursday (October 10) was named the 2018 winner of the Nobel literature prize, said that her win showed that despite her country's problems with democracy, Poles still had something to say.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a lecture in the German town of Bielefeld, Tokarczuk said the prize being awarded to a central European country was "unusual" and "incredible".
Austrian writer Peter Handke won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk was named as the 2018 winner after a sexual assault scandal led to last year's award being postponed.
Both have courted controversy - Handke for his portrayal of Serbia as a victim during the Balkan wars and attending its leader's funeral, and Tokarczuk for touching on dark areas of Poland's past that contrast with the version of history promoted by the country's ruling nationalist party.
Tokarczuk's comments come ahead Poland's general election on Sunday (October 13), which she said presents a chance for improving democracy in the country.
Opinion polls show the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is set to win the election despite criticism that it has weakened democracy through increased control over the judiciary and media.
(Production: Stephane Nitschke, Louisa Naks)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None