On 12 December, as part of the Literarium series, the audience will have the chance to encounter an author who has been forging his own path with unceasing autonomy for more than 40 years, but who rarely makes public appearances. After studying engineering and visual arts, the outstanding poet and prose writer Bálint Solymosi (b. 1959) worked mixing colours in a printing press, as a nighttime security guard at a musical instrument factory, and also as a journalist and editor.
Ever since his first book, A műnéger (The False Negro, 1992), the underlying words and fundamental character of his work have been concerned with the exercising of freedom. His books Az Ágak egy hamisciprusról (Branches From a False Cypress Tree, short stories, 1995), a Detonáta (Detunata, conversations, 2000), and Életjáradék (Perpetuity, prose writings, 2007) and Tiszta sor (All Clear, poems, 2009) helped make him an essential writer, and in 2009 he was presented with the Attila József A...ward. "The invisible giant of Hungarian literature,” as one critic put it.
In 2019, after a decade of inactivity, he published Vakrepülés (Flying Blind), which can be read as a continuation of Életjáradék. After the pastoral world of Tiszazug, it revived the Szeged and Budapest of the 1970s. "Much has been said about the two novels,” explained József Keresztesi on the occasion of Solymosi receiving the Déry Award, "novels of fatherhood, confession, poverty, generations. All true, but perhaps not separately, not divided, but rather all together. I would say I see these two books as novels of action. And perhaps the concept of action sums up not just these two books, but Solymosi's writing as a whole.” With his 2021 collection A Rózsafüzér királynője, avagy egy utazó napjai (The Queen of the Rosaries - Days of Travel), Solymosi once again won praise as a writer of verse, with a poetic style that is "Incredibly consistent, constructed using severely restricted devices,” and unrelenting in its mystery. We can look forward to a tremendously exciting conversation with this elusive writer as we explore some of the enigmas contained in his work.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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