Nobel Literature Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk says she thinks a new sort of fiction may be needed to counteract the modern era's tendency to isolate and divide people.
In her Saturday lecture in Stockholm ahead of receiving the prize next week, the Polish author complained of the "exhausting white noise of oceans of information" in the internet era.
'"It has turned out that we are not capable of bearing this enormity of information, which instead of uniting, generalizing and freeing, has differentiated, divided and enclosed us in individual little bubbles," she said.
Tokarczuk suggested this discourages people from understanding how actions are interconnected, thus contributing to climate crisis and political tensions.
She said she dreams of a new kind of "fourth-person" narrator in fiction who could encompass the views of each character in a novel.
"We can regard this figure of a mysterious, tender narrator as miraculous and significant. This is a point of view, a perspective, from which everything can be seen. Seeing everything means recognizing the ultimate fact that all things that exist are mutually connected into a single whole, even if the connections between them are not yet known to us," she said.
Tokarczuk is the 2018 literature laureate. Her prize was announced only two months ago because the Swedish Academy postponed naming a winner last year due to internal turmoil connected with a sex abuse scandal.
The 2019 Nobel Literature winner, Peter Handke, has also brought controversy to the body because of widespread criticism of him as an apologist for Serbian war crimes during the 1990s. One Swedish Academy member said he is boycotting Nobel ceremonies this year in protest of Handke's selection and a member of the literature nominating committee has announced his resignation.
Handke jousted with journalists who were questioning his views at a Friday news conference, saying he preferred receiving soiled toilet paper to answering their questions. But his lecture on Saturday was contemplative, telling how his writing was first inspired by religious litanies he heard from a village church. He concluded by reciting a poem by the late Swedish Nobel laureate Tomas Transtomer in which an angel whispers "do not be afraid of being human."
The Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, economic and literature are being presented Tuesday in the Swedish capital.
Earlier Saturday, several Nobel laureates in science spoke about climate change at their news conferences in Stockholm.
Didier Queloz, an astronomer who shares this year's Nobel physics prize for discovering a planet outside the Earth's solar system, said people who shrug off climate change on the grounds that humans will eventually leave for distant planets are wrong.
"The stars are so far away I think we should not have any serious hope to escape the Earth," Queloz said. "We're not built to survive on any other planet than this one ... we'd better spend our time and energy trying to fix it."
Edward M Kennedy (EMK) Center arranged the inaugural session of their new venture The Cinemates on Saturday, as a brand new platform for the movie lovers in the capital.
The inaugural session of this venture saw the screening of The Shawshank Redemption, which is widely considered as one of the best movies ever made and the number-one film on IMDb's user-generated Top 250 list since 2008.
After the screening of the film based directed by Frank Darabont based on a novella by Stephen King, film reviewer, writer, and actor Syed Nazmus Sakib, the session’s guest speaker, explained some interesting viewpoints from the analysis of the movie to the audiences. The engaged audiences also shared their individual stories of struggle, inspired from the film.
Convenor of the event and EMK’s Education USA Advisor Md Razoun Siddiky Tohin exclusively talked to UNB explaining the initiative, and informed that the upcoming editions of The Cinemates will screen more films and offer discussion platform for the audiences.
“A lot of cinema enthusiasts in our Dhaka city are engaged in film discussions on social media platforms or in personal gatherings, but we do not have sufficient number of needed platforms for common people to talk about films, books and music in public. That lacking eventually inspired us, the EMK Center- and we are happy to start this platform with this wonderful movie for the enthusiasts.”
The monthly event will also arrange similar discussions on books and music in its following sessions, he further informed UNB.
Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced on Friday that it has discovered a number of huge archaeological stone blocks near Giza pyramids west of the capital Cairo.
The ministry said in a statement that the archaeological excavators at Mit Rahina area of Giza unearthed 19 ancient blocks of pink granite and limestone that used to be parts of the great temple of Ptah.
The ministry added that the blocks have inscriptions depicting the god Ptah, the god of the ancient city of Memphis, in addition to cartouches of King Ramses II and other inscriptions depicting him.
The ministry revealed that its teams will continue the excavation works in the area in an attempt to uncover the rest of the blocks that make up parts of the temple, noting that the discovered blocks were transferred to the open museum in Mit Rahina for cleaning and restoration works.
"It is an important discovery, not only for its value, but also for scientific research," Maha Salah, a Cairo-based journalist focusing on Egyptology, told Xinhua.
Salah said that the Temple of Ptah in Giza was one of the largest and most important temple in ancient Memphis, noting that much of what is known about the temple comes from ancient writings.
"Archaeologists started to excavate the site of the temple since last century. Their works have revealed ruins of temple, which took the form of a walled compound accessible by several gates," Salah added.
She stressed that the new discovery will help Egyptologists know more about the temple and open the door for more excavations in the area.
As one of the most ancient civilizations, Egypt has been working hard to preserve its rich archaeological heritages.
The North African country has witnessed several large-scale archeological discoveries this year in different parts of the country, including Pharaonic tombs, statues, coffins and mummies.
The 63rd birth anniversary of late eminent filmmaker Tareque Masud, one of the country's film maestros who made immense contributions to the film industry of Bangladesh, was observed on Friday.
Marking the birth anniversary, Tareque Masud Memorial Trust and Moviyana Film Society jointly organised a programme at the National Art Gallery auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
His directed documentary titled ‘Adam Surat’ was screened for the viewers.
A book titled ‘Chalachitra Katha’ was unveiled at the event. Tareque’s widow and associate, American-born producer-director Catherine Masud, along with Proshun Rahman and Belayet Hossain Mamun authored and edited the book.
Noted writer Anupam Hayat and humanitarian activist Khushi Kabir attended the programme as special guests.
Rajshahi University mass communication and journalism department associate professor Abdullah Al Mamun delivered the memorial speech at the event.
Born on December 6, 1956 in Faridpur, Tareque was involved with the film society movement in the late 70s. He produced his maiden film ‘Adam Surat’, a documentary on the legendary artist SM Sultan in 1989.
His much acclaimed film 'Matir Moyna' earned the FIPRESCI Prize in 2002 Cannes Film Festival and became Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for best foreign language film in the same year.
In addition to filmmaking, Tareque was also a pioneer of the independent film movement in Bangladesh. He was a founding member of the Short Film Forum, the leading platform for independent filmmakers. He organised the country’s first International Short and Documentary Film Festival In 1988.
His other major films are ‘Runway’, ‘Ontorjatra’ ‘Muktir Gaan’ and the unfinished 'Kagojer Phul'.
On August 13, 2011,Tareque Masud died in a fatal road crash on Dhaka-Aricha highway while returning from the shooting of his unfinished film 'Kagojer Phul'.
The tragic accident also claimed the lives of media personality Mishuk Munier, two film production crews Wasim and Jamal, and microbus driver Mostafizur Rahman.
A new study has shown that acupuncture can help reduce dry mouth for head and neck cancer patients induced by radiation treatment.
The study published on Friday in JAMA Network Open reported the randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase III trial results.
The researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Fudan University Cancer Center in China recruited 339 head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.
The patients were divided into three groups. One group received true acupuncture (TA), another group received sham acupuncture (SA) and the third group received radiation and oral health education but no acupuncture.
The sham procedure involved a real needle at a point not indicated for dry mouth or xerostomia, real needles at sham points and placebo needles at sham points.
Patients assigned to either TA or SA received acupuncture three days a week on the same day as their radiation treatment, which lasted six to seven weeks.
One year after the end of radiation therapy, the incidence of clinically significant dry mouth was 35 percent in the TA group, 48 percent in the SA group and 55 percent in the control group, according to the study.
"With this study we can add acupuncture to the list for the prevention and treatment of xerostomia, and the guidelines for the use of acupuncture in the oncology setting should be revised to include this important chronic condition," said the study's principal investigator Lorenzo Cohen, director of the Integrative Medicine Program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.