Upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature from King Charles XVI Gustave, the ovations for Olga Tokarczuk from Wrocław citizens must have reached the Stockholm Philharmonic where the ceremony took place. For a few hours, several thousand of her fans, her readers were engaged in a discussion on books, proudly attaching commemorating badges, standing in long queues to sign in to the congratulatory book. They all hugged each other when the author of “The Books of Jacob” bowed down to the king and to the audience gathered in the capital of Sweden.
Her dedicated readers celebrated accordingly
On the main square, the celebrations started at 3 p.m. Olga Tokarczuk's speeches were screened on a large display. The video material included the ceremony of awarding the title of Honorary Citizen of Wrocław as well as the first meeting with readers in Poland following the Nobel Prize nomination, which was held in the National Forum of Music.
A small bookstore made the majority of Olga Tokarczuk’s books available to read and purchase.
- Now I have picked “Anna Inn w grobowcach świata” - said Alicja Szaplińska. - I believe that she is a brilliant author, one of the very few who speaks to your inner self and reaches so deep within, that she takes you with her. She is also a lovable human being, which makes me even more happy that she received the award - admits Alicja. She came to the market square to watch the broadcast, but also to stamp her own copies of the Nobel Prize winner's novels with a special commemorative stamp (she brought a rucksack full of Tokarczuk’s books).
Anna Trenerowska also came to watch the broadcast but also purchased a few of Olga Tokarczuk’s books. On her phone, she keeps a number of photos taken at the meeting with the Nobel Prize winner at the ceremony of awarding her with the title of Honorary Citizen of Wrocław. - At the time, I bought the English edition of “Flights,” because I have an American daughter-in-law, also an avid reader.
Apart from purchasing the books, the collectors were also after a unique ex libris, prepared occasionally for 10 December. A photobooth was also set up, allowing fans to take a commemorative photograph.
Queues to the congratulatory book
After 3.00 p.m., the participants could sign to the congratulatory book displayed in the market (the book will also be available on Wednesday in the town hall).
The first words of appreciation were written by the Vice Mayor of Wrocław Jakub Mazur. - It was such a great experience; it was difficult for me to focus and think about what I wanted to express. I wrote that her success brought us - the inhabitants of Wrocław - great joy. In addition, it made us feel proud, as Mrs. Olga Tokarczuk is our Honorary Citizen, but she is also a real resident. After all, after returning to Wrocław, she said: “I'm finally coming home.” We are glad that we can all come together in this place, on such a beautiful day to celebrate an event that fits into the history of not only our cultural heritage, but also of Wrocław - said the Vice-President.
Nobel Prize for Olga Tokarczuk
At 4.30 p.m., the Nobel Prize award ceremony began broadcasting directly from Stockholm. Speeches were given before each award. The speech for Olga Tokarczuk was prepared by Professor Per Wästberg, a member of the Swedish Academia. He talked about the writer's novels, including “Flights” and “The Books of Jacob”.
The scholar’s admiration for the “The Books of Jacob” was clearly visible. - “The Books of Jacob” is an amazing novel regarding a variety of subjects which are stitched together and combined. Because of the author’s amazing imagination, they create a sense of the old days, an essence of time. Her 1,000-page novel is a true wealth.
And then, to the surprise of the gathered, he turned to the touched Olga Tokarczuk in Polish: “Mrs. Tokarczuk, the Swedish Academia congratulates you. Please accept the Nobel Prize for Literature from His Majesty the King of Sweden.”
The ovation on the Wrocław market was as loud as the ovation in Stockholm. After the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the audience had the chance to listen to the Nobel Peace Prize lecture given by Olga Tokarczuk on Saturday, December 7.