For this evening on the Literarium stage, poetry enthusiasts have the chance to encounter one of the very best contemporary Hungarian poets. However, he is also someone whose artistic presence on the literary scene is nowhere near as substantial as it could be. This is only partly due to Ferenc Szijj's autonomous working style, and his tendency to withdraw into the background and refrain from presenting anything of himself in his work. Critics also appear to shy away from forming adequate interpretations of his densely woven, unique and incomparable poetic world, which eliminates all that is superfluous.
Yet the writer's books, including Kenyércédulák (Stickers on Bread, 2007), Agyag és kátrány (Clay and Tar, 2014) and Igazi nevek (True Names), published in 2019, display the razor sharp linguistic power of expression of his poetry in all its glory - though we must acknowledge that any kind of actual glory would be deeply foreign to the spirit of his poems. "Ferenc Szijj's verse originates from those lines and inner monologues that are so difficult to say out loud to one another, yet that we cont...inually whisper to ourselves. Line that we get stuck on, that don't let us go, that lift us up. That are somehow still capable of connecting us to each other.” So goes the description on the back of one of Szijj's books, describing the poetry of a writer who has also enjoyed significant success as a prose writer (A futás napja (The Day of the Run) 1992, Növényolimpia (Olympic Plant) 2017 etc.) and as a translator (Kleist, Kafka, Bernhard, Handke, Menasse, etc.). With Szijj's latest book, Ritka események (Rare events), you will find the following description: "With a multifaceted approach way, it voices the simultaneously grotesque and dreamlike poetic voices of a power bent on self-interest, a community closing itself off from the world, and an individual who has lost his spiritual balance. It is a book that ultimately speaks of the randomness, fragility and singularity of life.” It is fair to say that an evening with Ferenc Szijj does not promise unbridled entertainment, fun and laughter. But if you are interested in a profound, weighty and stirring experience, do not miss this compelling encounter.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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