7th Passa Porta’s Noble Prize 2019: Virginia Woolf

Tue 01.10.2019
20:00 - 22:00
Virginia Woolf 1927
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interview, lecture


€ 8 / 6 presale ; € 9 / 7 at the door


in English, French and Dutch

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One week before the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is announced, Passa Porta will be awarding its own Noble Prize. The prize recognises the work of authors who could have – and perhaps should have – won the Nobel Prize but, for one reason or another, missed out on it. This year, the recipient is greatest modernist writer of all time, Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

The Noble Prize

Over the course of an evening filled with literary activities, we’ll be focusing on Woolf’s work. Fans old and new, as well as connoisseurs of the author, will be at Passa Porta to take part in discussions and lectures and watch recordings of favourite passages from the writer’s oeuvre. Among other things, you can expect to hear excerpts from The Waves, Orlando, Mrs Dalloway, A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse and The Death of the Moth and Other Essays.

Australian performer Caroline Daish recites fragments from Orlando by heart (she has learnt the entire book!), and French writer Emmanuelle Favier talks about her recently published novel Virginia. Saskia De Coster, one of the greatest Woolf fans of Flemish literature, reads her favourite fragment from Mrs Dalloway. And writer-publisher Geneviève Brisac presents us with Woolf's special radio speech "Craftmanship", from 1937.

At the end of the evening, Virginia Nicholson, the granddaughter of Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell, will accept the prize from British-Eritrean and Brussels writer Sulaiman Addonia, who in his personal eulogy explains what Woolf's work meant to him.

Presentation: Ilke Froyen (Passa Porta)

Previous Noble Prizes

The previous recipients of the prize are Marguerite Yourcenar (2017), Pier Paolo Pasolini (2016), Louis Paul Boon (2012), Hugo Claus (2009), Franz Kafka (2008) and Jorge Luis Borges (2006). It was first awarded in 2006, when Passa Porta organised a multilingual reading marathon focusing on the work of Jorge Luis Borges; an initiative of poet and translator Bart Vonck and the first of its kind.

"I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me. I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns. I am rooted, but I flow."
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)