Sunday, October 13, 2019

Olga Tokarczuk's Nobel Prize in Literature is Controversial among PIS supporters: NYT

New York Times on why PiS supporters regard Olga Tokarczuk's Nobel Prize as controversial here


  1. This Award doesn't seem at all controversial to me. The recipient seems to be very on-message - well going by this quote anyway:
    "I think we will have to face our own history and try to rewrite it a little, without hiding all the terrible things we did as colonizers, a national majority who suppressed minorities, as slave owners or murderers of Jews.”

    But would you have a chance of winning any of "the world's" big prizes if you weren't on-message?

    Its sad that she couldn't find something positive to say about Poland/Poles/Polonia - just one thing - or at least have said something original. We are always being told how horrible and inferior we are.

    How different our Creator, Jehovah, is! He takes such a loving positive view of all us damaged children of Adam. We had such wonderful teaching at the Kingdom Hall this morning, reminding us of God's love for us. I wish you all could have been there with me.

  2. Sue you wrote

    "Its sad that she couldn't find something positive to say about Poland/Poles/Polonia - just one thing - or at least have said something original. We are always being told how horrible and inferior we are."

    Why do you think that this is an accurate summation of her work?

    I have not read her, but I've read about her, including this article, and I see no evidence that that is an accurate summation of her work.

  3. I haven't read her Danusha, so I don't know if its an accurate summation. But it seems such a pity that given a platform, she came out with the usual negatives. That certainly gives me the impression that her books are on-message. But I don't know.

    I would be interested to read your reviews if you have read them.

  4. All this has happened before: Jan T. Gross got an award, and was made a big hero in the media, for slandering Poland.

  5. Jan, how, exactly, did Olga Tokarczuk slander Poland?

  6. Jan I'm not going to post messages from you that identify Jews as the source of Poland's problems.

  7. I have found some reviews of a couple of her books- and she doesn't seem to be a PaintedBirder.

  8. Jan, you sent in a link. I read it. It uses the exact same quotes as the NYT article linked here. Then it offers extreme opinions, such as "the dirty truth about Olga" and "hatred of Poland and extreme philo-Semitism" without offering a shred of evidence. It also suggests that she has been paid by the enemies of Poland, without offering any evidence.

    There's nothing factual in that link that isn't already in the Times piece. The rest is character assassination without facts to back it up.

  9. "Controversial among PIS supporters" - who exactly reads Tokarczuk to discuss her texts? 1000 people in Poland? The controversy has been caused by a Tokarczuk's speach (few years ago) and a film based on Tokarczuk's novel, which shows local people as Polacks.
    We had elections last Sunday, PiS isn't any more tha bad guy, Konfederacja is.

  10. Jędrzejewski, Polish Jewish Forum, about Tokarczuk's opinion

  11. Jerzy please clarify your position. What exactly do you have against Olga Tokarczuk and why?

    Provide us with quotes from her work that you find objectionable and tell us why you find them objectionable.

    If you are going to tear someone down, be responsible about it. Especially if it's your fellow Pole who just won a Nobel Prize.

  12. I mean that probably 99% of Poles do not read Tokarczuk, so only her opinions presented in the media and the film are being criticized. Criticized not only by conservative right nationalists but also by the Jewish journalist who rejects generalizations that Poles "owned slaves" (but Poles were also slaves) and POles "murdered Jews". The phrase "among PiS supporters" is of little value, because Konfederacja is now the real right, the alleged bad guy PiS is accused by Konfederacja to be pro-Israeli-Jewish and progressive. The PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski was reading "Ksiegi Jakubowe" in 2016. (I don't know if he has finished the reading.) If any other Polish politician has read any book by Tokarczuk is unknown.

  13. Dear Danusha, she is honoured among other things for painting the picture of a better, Diverse,multicultural, tolerant ect Poland. She is also campaigning for Poland to become multicultural i.e less Polish again- In times of mass migration hailing from intolerant,primitive, mysogenistic,antisemitic parts of the World, in times od Poland being viviously attacked for not wanting to take in migrants Germany,France,the UK want to get rid off asap this feels like clown World.

  14. Hanna quotes, please. Citations please.

    1. "Yet we committed horrendous acts as colonizers, as a national majority that suppressed the minority, as slave-owners and as the murderers of Jews." "WE"?

    2. Of course: Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke win Nobel prizes in literature (From The Guardian)

      "The Nobel committee’s Anders Olsson said her work, which “centres on migration and cultural transitions”, was “full of wit and cunning.

      Migration. I need to stress that we are being flooded with illegal migrants from i.e Afganistan. Poland is being defamed from not wanting having them foisted upon.

  15. Hello,

    35 years ago in Poland agents of Communist security service have murdered a priest.

    From an authopsy:
    - 3 teeth knocked out
    - 6 broken ribs
    - 3 fingers torn out of the hand
    - 61 incised wounds all over the body
    - broken nose
    - ear torn out
    - hair pulled out
    - burn marks
    - tongue torn out
    - signs of strangulation
    - crushed knee
    - nails torn out
    - bruises from hitting with a baton
    - drowned.

  16. Jerzy Pankiewicz objects to this statement by Olga Tokarczuk:

    "Yet we committed horrendous acts as colonizers, as a national majority that suppressed the minority, as slave-owners and as the murderers of Jews."

    question: why do you object to that? It's true.

    The only part I have a problem with is "slave owners." Change it to serf.

    All true.

    So, do you want to hide / deny / the difficult parts of Polish history?

    1. "Colonizers". How interesting, This is btw what some Ukrainians are claiming. Tokarczuk happens to be an Ukrainian name, her family hails originally from a region that one was a part of Poland but ethnically diverse. I remember that, in an interview, she suggested having everything in Wrocław bilingual (Polish and German). I guess she does not feel very much Polish but loves to apologize in "our" name. The equivalent would be me apologizing for "our" German whatever- I do not feel German at all.

      The rest sounds connectable to oikophobic ultraleftist talking points: minorities, Jews (of course not the ones capable of defending themselves in Israel), "slaves" (connectable to the whole Colonialism topic). Sorry, but the Nobel Prize for literature is a political one. Sienkiewicz would NEVER get one in the current year because of "nationalism".

  17. What is "Polish history" ? Poland did not exist rather than existed since about 1780. Before that time there was a Polish-Lithuanian Republic. My father's family was probably Lithuanian and later Ruthenian, they Polonized somehwere around 16 or 17 century. This is an optimistic version. My grandfather was extremely poor, he walked barefoot before WWI and used horse feces to heat his foots, so perhaps his ancestors were serfs. Poland did not "colonize". Lithuanian and Ruthenian lords had the same rights like Polish lords and they owned sometimes Polish serfs. The Jews did not own serfs, but did well inbetween owners and serfs. If the serfs revolted they murdered both landlords and Jews. During the Galician slaughter 1846 only landlors were killed.

    1. You ducked the very question you raised.

      Not a profitable dialog.

    2. Hello Dr Goska,

      Allow me to join this dialog. I will try to explain. It will be hard to express myself so I ask for some leniency.

      Just like Mr. Pankiewicz and Miss Hanna I don't like what Olga Tokarczuk has said. She wants to "rewrite Poland". It is worse that pedagogy of shame. I would call it "westernisation of Polish history".

      Dr Goska, You prefer word serf. More accurate than slave?
      My ancestors were serfs. Just like up to 90% of Poles then. And now they all will become "slave owners"?

      My ancestors were also natives. They never travelled further than to the nearest shtetl. Now they will turn into "colonizers"?

      "Murderers of Jews"? I haven't met those. But we did had Jews in Poland. P-L Commonwealth was a home to 80% of Jews in the world. Second Polish Republic had the largest Jewish population in Europe. Poland was never a "Jewish paradise". Simply other countries were much worse.

      "A national majority that suppressed the minority". So many words. Poland was better to minorities than many other countries. And we treated our former partitioners better than they treated us.

      Seems to me that poor Olga feels butthurt because God made her a Pole. So she tries to "rewrite" Poles into Westerners. Unfortunately the dominant trait of Western culture is a selective sense of guilt.

      Dr Goska, imagine that some Indian maharaja converts to Christianity, travels to London and marries the Queen of England. Sounds ridiculous?
      Well, ex-pagan Jagiełło went to Kraków and married Oueen/King Jadwiga. His descendants were sitting on Polish throne for the next couple centuries.

      Lithuanian and Ruthenian hetmans were leading Commonwealth's troops. Their senators wrote laws including our first Constitution. They weren't treated like savages.
      We didn't had colonies.

      That is our history.
      And some frustrated writer want's to rewrite it. Just to better fit into other peoples' narratives. Be part of a club.

      Should we become "slave owners and colonizers" just because we are white and Christian like Westerners?
      No thanks. Their guilt is theirs and theirs alone.

      Let Poland be Poland. Let Poles be Poles.

    3. Hi there Mr Łukasz, great post!
      Also, yes, we totally colonialized these pesky Ukrainians. To the effect that, in the former "Polish" part, they still speak the Ukrainian language. Im the "Russian" part they speak Russian. And some actively long to "return" to dearest Mother Russia. This Has lead to the s.c Ukrainian Crisis, massive destruction of a poor country, the death of thousands,the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight M 17 by volksrussian secessionists ect. Poland has taken in nearly 2 mio Ukrainian migrants and given them the chance to make an honest living and support their families. If they want to stay and settle in Poland that's ok,too.

  18. I really think that you are sticking up for Olga Tokarczuk too much. All your responses to others, on this thread, show it.

  19. I have described Lithuanian-Ruthenian history of the Commonwealth. Tokarczuk is an Ukrainian last name, it is possible that the writer has some Ukrainian connections. Someone may describe Ukraine as a Polish colony since the Lublin Union. But it is a simplification. Lithuanian-Ruthenian families owned big areas of Ukraine. Many Polish peasants run away to deserted Ukraine and accepted Ukrainian culture. Mohyla Academy was important for Ukrainian culture.

  20. I don't know if I "ducked" anything, I do not even understand the word. I am a self made man, my English is poor and I lack any formal education in history or sociology. But I am a mathematician and I expect precision of statements. I have tried to explain that
    "Yet we committed horrendous acts as colonizers, as a national majority that suppressed the minority, as slave-owners and as the murderers of Jews." is unprecize and I do not belong in any way to the group described as "We". My family was poor and rather philo-Semitic. My father's family probably Polonized, so "we" didn't colonize. Poles were also a persecuted minority. Recently a Yiddish expert explained to Poles that Poles and Jews were minorities in Russia and the Jews became a minority in Polish state in 1918, which caused some conflicts. Catalan people demand independence from democratic and rich Spain, their leaders are imprisoned, the Spanish police acts as Polish Communist one 35 years ago. Where exactly are minorities happy? The Swedish minority in Finland. Any other? Alawite minority rules Syria murdering people, so not always a minority is right. Polish Jews participated in the serfdom economy in Poland and sometimes the serfs murdered the Jews and szlachta. My Communist school taught exactly the same what Tokarczuk says but the guilty class was szlachta, not Poles in general. Many "Polish" leaders before the war were Lithuanian (Narutowicz, Piłsudski, Mackiewicz), German (Anders, Unrug), Armenian (Teodorowicz). Some families were ethnnically divided - eg. Szeptycki. Three bothers were professors who declared three ethnicities - Iwanowski, Iwanauskas and Iwanouski. The uniate bishop supported Ukrainian minority but many of those Ukrainians committed terrible crimes nurdering Jews, Poles and other Ukrainians. Poland needs academic historical research which is unfortunately replaced by propaganda and sermons, both nationalistic and progressive anti-Polish.


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