Crowds at the meeting with Olga Tokarczuk at the Faculty of Languages


Prof. Jerzy Limon's theatre hall was bursting at the seams. Literature lovers filled all the seats, the stairs, and even the space under the stage. Why? To listen to the new doctor honoris causa of UG, Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk.

On March 18, 2024, a ceremony was held to award the Nobel Prize winner an honorary doctorate from the University of Gdańsk. After the celebration in Artus Court, Olga Tokarczuk visited the Faculty of Languages, where she took part in a meeting with the UG academic community hosted by prof. dr hab. Stanisław Rosiek. At the beginning of the talk, the Nobel Laureate quoted part of her lecture on misogyny and the lack of female representation in culture. Underlying the author's reflections was a passage from Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, in which a dwarf waitress named Emerentia appears.

During the meeting, the honorary guest also talked about her fascination with one of the oldest myths of mankind, the story of the Sumerian goddess of war and love Inanna. The myth-inspired novel Anna In in the Tombs of the World, published in Polish in 2006, was later adapted into the ahat ilī. Sister of the Gods opera by Aleksander Nowak. The libretto of the opera (co-written by Olga Tokarczuk), together with a commentary in the form of an essay by prof. Zbigniew Mikołejko, was published in a book entitled ahat ilī. Sister of the Gods by słowo/obraz terytoria publishing house in 2024.

Many questions were asked from the audience, such as about misogyny in culture, creative inspirations, or interpretations of Thomas Mann's timeless work The Magic Mountain.

The meeting with the UG academic community concluded the celebrations for the awarding of an honorary doctorate to the Nobel Prize winner. It is worth mentioning that to commemorate the day, Olga Tokarczuk donated her doctoral robe to the now-developing University of Gdańsk Museum.

Marcel Jakubowski/Press Office UG