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Tokarczuk, O.


Olga Tokarczuk, born in Sulechów, Poland, in 1962. M.Sc. from the University of Warsaw. Novelist in Warsaw.

Writer-in-Residence (1 February 2009 - 30 June 2009)


In preparation for my "Heterotopia project", I have been studying the history of Europe in the 17th century. My focus lay in particular on:

  • The history of Jews at the time of Jewish Enlightenment;
  • Jewish mysticism, with an emphasis on the Sabbatai Zevi and Donmeh movements;
  • Jacob Frank and Frankism, Chasidism and, though superficially, the history of Kabbalah of Kordowero and Luria; and,
  • The connections between Jewish messianism and the ideas of political and social revolution.

This led me to the second strand of my project: the early visions of alternative societies in the works of Bakunin, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Abramowski, and also Ward and Dolgoff.

I carried out interesting research on both subjects and collected material to aid my writing. I was able to set out the framework of my entire book. I have also worked on three articles for the weekly magazine Polityka and on a short novel (as yet untitled).

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