Louise O. Fresco
(Meppel, NL, 1952) is an agricultural scientist and novelist. Her novel De Utopisten (The Utopians) was published in 2007. As in De Kosmopolieten (The Cosmopolitans, 2003) and De Tuin van de Sultan van Rome (The Roman Sultan's Garden, 2005), idealism, power, and friendship play important roles. Fresco's Nieuwe Spijswetten (New Laws for Food, 2006) offers ideas around a new ethical and scientific basis for our views on food and agriculture. In 2006 she was appointed professor at the University of Amsterdam, where she researched foundations of sustainability in an international context. She was also adjunct Director General with UN's FAO in Rome. In 2012 she published Hamburgers in Paradise. Food in times of Scarcity and Abundance. In 2014 she was appointed chair of the executive board of Wagening UR and professor at Wageningen University. In addition she has held many positions in her scientific field, and is on the board (among others) of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2014 she published Kruisbestuiving. Over kennis, kunst en het leven (Mutual Influence of Knowledge, Art and Life, 2014). She is a member of PEN Netherlands.(WIN 2017)
Archive available for: Louise O. Fresco
Director, scientist, writer and columnist Louise O. Fresco discusses Maria Dermoût's De tienduizend dingen (Ten Thousand Things) with the public, introduced by NRC Handelsblad newspaper's books editor Michel Krielaars. Fresco tells us why it is relevant and worthwhile to (re)read this Indonesian novel from 1955. She invites you to read the novel, and then join the dicussion on this afternoon.
The novel is a classic that inspires readers around the world to this day. When it appeared in the US in 1958, it pushed Doctor Zhivago and Breakfast at Tiffany's off the bestseller lists. It has been continually reprinted in the Netherlands.
The novel is set on a Moluccan island in the last stages of Dutch colonization. In it, Mrs. Felicia van Kleyntjes lives alone with her servants on a remote plantation by a bay while remembering the dead and the living.
The title of the novel is taken from a line from 7th-century Chinese poet Ts'ên Shên: "When the 'ten-thousand things' have been seen as one, we will return to the beginning and remain where we always were." According to Moluccan tradition, upon a person's death, the one hundred things by which he or she will be remembered are sung about: from the smallest things, such as the seashells at the bach, to the people that surrounded him or her. At the end of the book, Felicia sees her own "one hundred things" pass before her eyes.
Dermoût (Pekalongan, 1888 - Noordwijk aan Zee, 1962) was born on Java in the then-Dutch Indies, went to school in the Netherlands, and travelled between both countries her whole life. Her Indonesian years inspired her various stories and novels, such as De tienduizend dingen, a masterpiece that became an international hit. In Dutch
In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Wim Brands and Fidan Ekiz. In Dutch.
Is there still such a thing as "home" when you return after a war? How do you rebuild a life? How do you reconstitute a civilization? Ian Buruma wrote Year Zero: A History of 1945, about the immediate aftermath of WWII. Stefan Hertman's War and Turpentine describes World War I through the eyes of his grandfather. Both authors choose a notably personal approach; Buruma, too, used the experiences of a family memberhis fatheras motivation to delve into world history. How does it affect a story when the source is so close to home? Is it possible to reflect reality on the basis of a detail? David Van Reybrouck poses these questions to the authors. Louise O. Fresco starts off the programme with a commentary.
A test tube? A revealing line of poetry? Moving music? In a programme lasting all evening in the main hall of the theatre, prominent figures from the world of art, culture and science talk to Michaël Zeeman about the question: what do they see as the imagination of hope? The guests each bring an image they derive hope from and illustrate their choice. A tryptich with six modern words, images and sounds of hope – which one will convince you?
Part 1 science: for a long time science was at the centre of of the faith in progress. But can it still fulfil its glorious role? Louise O. Fresco, writer (of among other books The Utopists) and brightest person in in ther Netherlands, opens the programme with a column. Together with Ronald Plasterk, natural scientist and Dutch Minister of Education, she will try to answer the question as to what extent science can still be a source of optimism. In Dutch.