Workshop diary of Imre Kertész presented

The Imre Kertész Institute in Budapest celebrated the 94th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Prize winning writer, Imre Kertész with a special day. On this occasion the author's workshop diary entitled Vázlatok (Sketches), which he kept parallel to the writing of his famous novel, Fatelessness, was presented at a round table discussion.
At the book launch Anna Őri-Kovács, the moderator of the event talked with Margit Ács, Kossuth State Award winning writer, art critic and regular member of HAA as well as Márton Soltész, literary historian of the Imre Kertész Institute, editor of the volume, former HAA scholarship holder and Péter Radics, head of the Petőfi Literary Museum's Digital Literary Academy. Margit Ács said that the workshop diary actually confirmed the impressions she had when she first read the manuscript of the novel. She saw the novel as not primarily a literary work, but as a confession interpreting existence, which confronts the reader with the necessity that we must give up our trust in our entire human civilization, culture, and humanism, knowing the facts of the death camps. Due to the often burdensome sentences, many considered the author to be a dilettante, although in this way Kertész consciously emphasized the absurdity experienced in the death camp.
Márton Soltész explained that they requested the original manuscript found at the Berlin Academy of Arts, and then, in agreement with the editors Krisztina Bencsik and Gábor Mórocz, they decided to publish the text in its entirety. In addition to the readable diary-like notes, Imre Kertész's theme designs can now also be seen. He pointed out that Kertész wrote down his thoughts born between 1958 and 1963 as a fully-fledged writer, essentially writing everything ready for printing. He used the language with supreme confidence. Péter Radics added that in his opinion Vázlatok could be compared to the diaries of Sándor Márai, the work of the fellow writer whom Imre Kertész respected.
The Imre Kertész Institute was established in 2017 at the Art Nouveau palace under 46 Benczúr Street in Budapest and manages parts of the Noble laureate's literary legacy not handled elsewhere with the aim to better understand and publish his works, while nurturing cultural discourse about his heritage.
November 27, 2023