Olga Tokarczuk

All articles by this author

On My Way Again

On My Way Again

In what possible way could airports be considered inferior to actual cities, nowadays?

April on the motorway, the sun’s red streaks across the asphalt, the world all delicately decorated with a glaze from the recent rain—an Easter cake. I’m driving on Good Friday, at dusk, from the Netherlands to Belgium—I don’t know which country I’m in now, since the border has vanished; unused, it’s been expunged.

Kunicki, Water (I)

Kunicki, Water (I)

In his sleep he hears drops of water trickling lazily down from the sky, about to become a violent, short-lived downpour.

As they walk, they talk to each other, but he can’t hear them: he hadn’t known he was supposed to be listening. Then they vanish into the olive trees. He doesn’t know how long all of this takes, but it’s not long. A quarter of an hour, maybe a little more. He loses track of time. He hadn’t looked at his watch. He hadn’t known he was supposed to keep track of the time.

Everywhere and Nowhere

Everywhere and Nowhere

There are countries out there where people speak English. But not like us—we have our own languages hidden in our carry-on luggage, in our cosmetics bags, only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries, to foreign people. It’s hard to imagine, but English is their real language! Oftentimes their only language. They don’t have anything to fall back on or to turn to in moments of doubt.