Lies van Gasse and Auke Hulst in Olomouc


Lies van Gasse and Auke Hulst were guest speakers at the DCC Doctoral School in the Czech Republic

In the second week of July, participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania attended the DCC Doctoral School 'Literature and (post)humanism' at the Palacký University Olomouc. The main topics of the lectures and workshops were relationship between humans and nature, literature about robots and technological developments, representation of the evil in Dutch literature and the differences and the similarities between dystopias and utopias. The icing on the cake was the visit of two distinguished guests: Flemish poet and illustrator Lies van Gasse and Dutch writer and musician Auke Hulst.

Lies van Gasse is well known in the Central Europe. Several of her poems were translated into Slovak in 2017 as part of the Ars Poetica festival. Every participant in this Doctoral School received one copy of the collection Toon de stad from the series Woorden temmen by Lies van Gasse and Laurens Ham. The students became ambassadors of the collection and after the course it became part of the library of their home departments. During Lies van Gasse's creative workshop the participants could try for a while what it is like to be a poet and an illustrator of the poetry. At the end some of them read their favourite poems from the collection to thank Lies for her visit.

One of the morning lectures took a closer look at the position of robots in the literature. One of the questions was if it is possible to draw a sharp line between humans and robots. As a preparation for the course students had read an excerpt from De mitsukoshi troostbaby company (2021). Therefore, it was a great pleasure to listen to Auke Hulsts lecture and subsequent interview. Dutch critics have declared this novel his magnum opus. Hopefully it will get translated soon so that the readers in other countries could get acquainted with it.

(Lucia Polachova)

Lies van Gasse in Olomouc

Auke Hulst interviewed by Alexa Stoicescu

The Doctoral School was organized by the DCC Alliance