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AFP
October 16, 2019

Nobel winner fears rising self-censorship in Poland

World

AFP
October 16, 2019

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Poland’s Nobel literature winner Olga Tokarczuk on Tuesday decried rising self-censorship in her country, while steering clear of the controversy engulfing fellow laureate Peter Handke.

Speaking at the opening press conference of the Frankfurt book fair, the dreadlocked author and outspoken critic of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) said there was "a kind of culture war" raging at home between the right-wing government and the opposition.

"There is no official censorship in literature, but I feel a certain fear when I see that a kind of self-censorship is developing in Poland," Tokarczuk said through a translator. "Authors are somehow afraid of expressing what they really think or feel because they fear political consequences. I can only hope this development will not continue."

Tokarczuk, whose sweeping historical novels with a touch of mysticism have made her one of Poland’s leading writers, had warned that Poles faced a choice between "democracy and authoritarianism" as they headed to the polling booths.

The populist PiS, often at loggerheads with the European Union, held onto its parliamentary majority in Sunday’s vote following a campaign that coupled pledges for new welfare measures with attacks on gay rights and Western values.

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