In the shape of Ferenc Barnás, we welcome to the Literarium stage an independent and refreshingly free-thinking writer who has remained apart from any school or tendency, who shuns the literary scene and the herd mentality, and whose successes are entirely due to his own efforts. He is a genuine self-made man whose hands are not tied by any convention, model, external expectation or desire to conform. In the rhythm of his sentences, one can sometimes hear a little of Thomas Bernhard, Hajnó...czy, Nádas and Kraszna¬hor¬kai - and never any worse company than that - although his fourth book, the Aegon Prize-winning Másik halál (2012), introduces a fully mature, entirely original attitude, voice and individual vision into the current of contemporary Hungarian prose. It is a novelistic discourse in which the struggle against the breakdown of the psyche and the mechanisms of internal change - as a defining theme - override the ambition of traditional storytelling, and yet his finely wrought and self-reflective approach keeps this work outside the self-pitying, psychoanalysing tendency in Hungarian prose.
Just as the web of autobiographical references in Barnás's work - such as the privations of the family of market traders immortalised in the novel Kilencedik (2006), living with nine children in a home of 25 square metres, as well as the epic world portrayed around them - reveal some particularly close parallels, so the characters of the street musician, teacher and art gallery guard are uncannily reminiscent of the author. In this world, there is no resolution, consolation or happy end. Even so, this evening in the company of the Márton Juhász Trio will not be about hopelessness, but will instead take the form of a memorable literary self-examination, as embodied in the dignity of confronting one's problems and the ethos of refusing to turn away one's gaze. Those familiar with Barnás's four novels should attend for just this reason, while those who are not should come to be part of a highly moving encounter.
Presented by: Palace of Arts
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