About the event
Sándor Márai's adventurous life and his oeuvre that earned him a distinguished position in global literature are linked with Italy in many ways. It is not an overstatement to say his literary career plays a bridging role in Italian-Hungarian cultural relations. Therefore, it could not be more timely and topical for Müpa Budapest to host a prestigious literary evening within the Bridging Europe Festival to discuss the Italian period of one of the few world-famous Hungarian writers.
Although Márai was considered one of Hungary's most respected writers even as early as the 1930s, his oeuvre, completed over the long decades he later spent as an émigré, only became freely available to the general public here in 1990. Almost immediately, his novels and diaries, widely published in serial form, aroused great interest across a broad readership, and he developed a cult following, owed in large measure to the consistent and unwavering principles that gave his work its moral gravity, as well as to his rock-solid and uncompromising belief in democracy.
The varied evening we have in store with the involvement of the most authoritative experts on Márai and Italy will use numerous texts by Márai and musical interludes in an attempt to explore the impact on Márai of the first stop in his voluntary exile: Italy. Who and what influenced the Kassa-born writer's Italian period, what pivotal experiences and impressions he had during his stay near Naples between 1948 and 1952 and in Salerno between 1967 and 1980. Excerpts recited from his prose are selected from the period he spent in Italy. The panel discussion will be moderated by Ágnes Ludmann, professor and head of Italian Studies at Eötvös József Collegium. Panellist experts include Antonio Sciacovelli, translator of Márai's works and his most prominent researcher in Italy, Tibor Mészáros, literary historian and curator of Márai's works (Petőfi Literary Museum) and László Csorba, historian, former director of the Hungarian Academy in Rome and honorary director-general of the Hungarian National Museum. It will be a truly "bourgeois” evening, full of intellectual excitement, curiosities and hitherto unknown extra information, in the spirit of one of the greatest Hungarian writers.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest