Jenő Dsida is an eastern brother to his western counterparts. The rhythm of his poetry, his countless variations of rhymes, the forms and shapes of his prose, his virtuoso writing style and an informed approach to world literature all tie him to the traditions of the Hungarian journal Nyugat (West). Yet the publication never published a single poem from Dsida, and his passing received only a frosty farewell piece from Antal Szerb.
Two volumes of poetry were published in his lifetime, Leselkedő magány (Skulking Loneliness, 1928) and Nagycsütörtök (Maundy Thursday, 1933). Angyalok citeráján (On the Cithara of the Angels) was published in the autumn of 1938, though he did not live to see its release. Since then, while Dsida has been revived and then re-buried several times, he has still has not received the position in the Hungarian pantheon of poetry that he truly deserves. This may be part because Dsida, who died you...ng as a result of a serious heart condition, tackles death and mourning as his central theme. Dsida's poetry stylises death by emphasising its beauty, helping others see it as both a familiar experience and high-level art. Jenő Dsida had an early encounter with history in his life. With the annexation of Transylvania, he woke up to find himself a citizen of a foreign country overnight. He was one of the first — and to this day one of the greatest — witnesses of life as a minority. His poetry was in part a profound cry out from his consciousness as a response to this enormous weight. His deeply rooted Catholicism, his light and gentle playfulness and his love of nature were closely tied to his premonition of his impending death. In his poetry, his enormous appetite for life is compounded by visions of his imminent end. His art created one of the most shattering and refined depictions ever of human existence. Jenő Dsida is not only one of the defining figures of Hungarian literature, he was also one of the most striking voices of 20th century world literature.
The production's cooperating partner is the József Katona Theatre.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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