literature, cinema, fine arts

An evening with Andrea Tompa

no interval
Glass Hall
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
  • Literarium - Contemporary Writers at Müpa Budapest

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Andrea Tompa's most recent novel, her fifth, not only has one of the best titles of the year, it is also a true, weighty Hungarian novel - and not because of its length. This Transylvannian story is a thrilling tale of moving, obscure events, questions of human fate and drama, and disturbing thoughts and sentiments. It is no surprise that the book was a huge hit, and that it its popularity remains undimmed today.

So it is not its 600 pages that make Sokszor nem halunk meg (Often, We Do Not Die) a great book, it is because its observations are universal - even if it is far from a holocaust or dictatorship-themed novel - instead, it is one of the most beautiful works of art about adoption in existence. One of Andrea Tompa's most important techniques in her prose is silence, suppression; Often, We Do Not Die is a book of absence. A story about the absence of biological parents, the absence of Transylvannian Jews, and the absence of historical justice. Tompa forms and bends the language to her will. Just as filmmakers employ visual devices to create a mood, she evokes, for example, the sense of suffocation by describing cramped rooms filled with pseudo-relatives. Tompa must create all this with language itself, and it is a marvel to observe how adeptly she succeeds in doing so. Absence is not only present in the story itself, but between the lines, and in the surface descriptions, behind which, as a question that can never clearly be answered, the depths are always present, as are the still-unexplained deeds, and the antagonism that remains unexpressed in words. And in the lives that are yet to be filled with life. A weighty book, full of expressive silences, and a weighty literary evening that awaits us at the Glass Hall of Müpa Budapest.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest
  • violin
    Luca Kézdy
  • presenter and host
    András Greff
  • actor
    Ildikó Tóth
  • director
    László Harsányi Sulyom

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Literarium - Contemporary Writers at Müpa Budapest

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