Is there any chance at all that the works of Sándor Petőfi will break free from the stereotypes they have spawned? Or will he always only ever be the poet who wrote Anyám tyúkja (My Mother's Hen) and Nemzeti dal (National Song)? There is no question that, perhaps more than any other Hungarian poet, Petőfi has been placed in a restricted role and framework of interpretation, with the bad memories of the posthumous use as a slogan of ‘Lobogónk, Petőfi!' (Petőfi, Our Flag!) by the Hungarian government to create a one-sided and drab view of a poet who, in reality, was a genuine multifaceted talent, his work full of subtle shades of meaning. This may explain the fact that, while many people who have completed Hungarian secondary school can repeat the story of what happened on 15 March 1848, only the two works mentioned above and Szeptember végén (At the End of September) are usually the only ones that spring to mind when they are asked about Petőfi's literary works. This Müpa Budapest Poetry Evening would like to change this with a new performance from a selection of Petőfi's work by the outstanding József Attila prize-winning poet Balázs Szálinger, who has also been working to create a current and positive understanding of Petőfi: "What they do with Petőfi in teaching literature is just terrible. They use him for everything except for the good stuff. He could be the best ambassador for teenagers. He's charming, playful, cool, funny, nasty... And yet he's the one they put before us as though he were dead, he's the one who's castrated and made uninteresting,” says Szálinger. As a result, alongside some of his great poems, the emphasis will be on the ‘unknown Petőfi' in this selection - an exciting new portrait of the poet. It promises to be an educational evening, full of surprises and rich in discovery.
The production's cooperating partner is the Budapest Academy of Drama and Film.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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