Tüskés Anna írása

október 24th, 2018 § 0 comments

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Bíró-Balogh Ta­más, szerk/ed. Kü­lön­ben ma­gyar köl­tő va­gyok: Rad­nó­ti Mik­lós le­ve­le­zé­se I [Ot­her­wi­se I’m a Hun­ga­ri­an poet. Mik­lós Radnóti’s Cor­res­pon­den­ce]. Bu­da­pest: Jaf­fa, 2017.

The first vo­lu­me of Radnóti’s cor­res­pon­den­ce con­ta­ins the let­ters the poet wro­te and re­ce­i­ved over 19 ye­ars, bet­ween 1926 and 1945, 467 do­cu­ments in to­tal. The aim of Ta­más Bíró-Balogh’s scho­larly and ca­re­fully edi­ted cor­pus is to pub­lish all aut­hen­tic let­ters Rad­nó­ti exc­hang­ed with his re­la­ti­ves, fri­ends, col­le­agues, and pub­lish­ing hous­es, ex­cept for tho­se exc­hang­ed with his wife Fan­ni Gyar­ma­ti. Ta­más Bíró-Balogh, li­ter­ary his­to­ri­an and writer, was the edi­tor of Ala­dár Schöpflin’s coll­ec­ted let­ters (2004), and Mik­lós Radnóti’s de­di­ca­tions (2016). Bíró-Balogh lays down his edi­ting prin­cip­les in the post­script: “This coll­ec­ti­on is not a cri­ti­cal edi­ti­on, but it was made with a cri­ti­cal cla­im.” He pre­sents the exact text wit­ho­ut cor­rec­ting it ac­cord­ing to cur­rent spel­l­ing. Radnóti’s spel­l­ing was not per­fect. Even if this edi­to­ri­al prin­cip­le ma­kes it har­der to read the­se let­ters, it shows exactly what let­ters the poet wro­te and re­ce­i­ved. The edi­tor also no­tes that we can be cert­ain that we do not know all the let­ters, new ones will al­ways be dis­co­ve­red. Many let­ters may be in the pos­ses­si­on of the heirs of for­mer cor­res­pon­dents.

The cor­res­pon­den­ce with Radnóti’s re­la­ti­ves, fri­ends, col­le­agues, and pub­lish­ing hous­es is or­ga­ni­zed ch­ro­no­log­i­cally from the age of se­ven­teen un­til the end of Radnóti’s life. It con­ta­ins much new in­for­ma­ti­on (abo­ut cir­cum­stan­ces of the pub­li­ca­ti­on of po­ems, vo­lumes of po­etry and li­ter­ary trans­la­tions) with the li­ter­ary re­fe­ren­ces be­ing of most va­lue. Radnóti’s com­ments on his own po­etry, on po­li­tics, and on his fel­low po­ets are also in­ter­est­ing. Beyond per­so­nal re­la­ti­onsh­ips, the let­ters paint a vi­vid pic­tu­re of li­ter­ary life bet­ween the two World Wars: the Sze­ge­di Fi­a­ta­lok Mű­vé­sze­ti Kol­lé­gi­u­ma (Col­l­e­ge of Art of Yo­ung People in Sze­ged), the circ­les of the jour­nals Nyu­gat (West) and Szép Szó (Be­au­ti­ful Word).

The qu­o­te in the book’s tit­le of­fers a psy­cho­log­i­cal point of view on the let­ters: the poet’s re­la­ti­on with Hun­ga­ri­an and Je­wish iden­tity, Ch­ris­ti­an re­li­gi­on and cul­tu­re. An im­por­tant let­ter abo­ut his iden­tity is the one writ­ten to Ala­dár Kom­lós in 1942:

On the wall of my room I have th­ree “fa­mily pic­tu­res”, th­ree pho­to­gra­phic co­pi­es. A copy of a fa­irly unk­nown port­ra­it of Arany by Ba­ra­bás, the head from the same paint­ing, and a copy of a re­cently dis­co­ve­red port­ra­it of the old Ka­zin­czy by Fe­renc Simó. […] They are my great-uncles. My re­la­ti­ves are also Ba­las­si who chang­ed his fa­ith, the Lu­the­ran Ber­zse­nyi and Pe­tő­fi, the Cal­vi­nist Köl­csey, the Catho­lic Vö­rös­mar­ty or Ba­bits, or the Je­wish Ernő Szép or Mi­lán Füst to come clos­er to our time. […] I ne­ver de­ni­ed my Je­wish­ness, I have “Je­wish re­li­gi­on” also to­day, but I do not feel Je­wish myself, I was not edu­ca­ted to Je­wish re­li­gi­on, I do not need it, I do not prac­ti­ce it.

He wro­te in Ap­ril 1943, a year and a half be­fo­re his death:

Abo­ut fif­teen ye­ars ago I de­ci­ded to get bap­ti­zed be­fo­re my 34th birth­day. Ch­rist was 33 ye­ars old and has not been 34 when he was cru­ci­fi­ed, that’s why I tho­ught so. And be­ca­u­se I tho­ught that this crazy and des­pic­ab­le world wo­uld be fine by then, the per­se­cu­ti­on of the Jews will ce­a­se, and my bap­tism wo­uld be a pri­vate, in­ter­nal af­fair, no one will think of spe­cu­la­ti­on or es­cape.

We learn much of his suf­fe­ring du­ring two for­ced la­bour ser­vi­ces, and the emo­tions of two love stori­es be­fo­re and du­ring his mar­riage. For examp­le, we have his cor­res­pon­den­ce with the pain­ter, gra­phic and ce­ra­mic ar­tist, tex­ti­le and pup­pet de­sign­er Ju­dit Beck, who was his muse for th­ree im­por­tant po­ems in 1941–1942. One well-documented fri­ends­hip is the one with gra­phic ar­tist, wood­cut­ter, book ar­tist György Bu­day, who il­lustra­ted some of Radnóti’s vo­lumes. The­ir re­la­ti­onship was not wit­ho­ut ten­si­on be­ca­u­se Bu­day was al­ways late with his work.

The cor­res­pon­den­ce also int­ro­du­ces the ex­tent and na­tu­re of French cul­tu­re in Radnóti’s think­ing (ma­inly inf­lu­en­ced by his trips to Pa­ris). Studying phi­lo­sophy, Hun­ga­ri­an and French lan­gu­age and li­te­ra­tu­re at the Uni­ver­sity of Sze­ged, his most im­por­tant pro­fes­sors were the poet, trans­la­tor, li­ter­ary his­to­ri­an Sán­dor Sík, and Béla Zol­nai, a spe­ci­a­list of the his­to­ry of Hun­ga­ri­an and French li­te­ra­tu­re in the 18th–20th cent­uri­es. They also hel­ped the poet in his la­ter ca­re­er. Rad­nó­ti first sta­yed in Pa­ris on his own for two months in the sum­mer of 1931. Du­ring the se­cond stay, now with his wife in the sum­mer of 1937, he at­ten­ded In­ter­na­ti­o­nal PEN Club events, and he met French poet Pier­re Ro­bin. In the sum­mer of 1938, he sta­yed for one week at the in­vi­ta­ti­on of the French Pen Club, then he spent th­ree more weeks in Pa­ris, aga­in with his wife. The fo­urth stay was also with his wife and fri­ends in the sum­mer of 1939, when he met Pier­re Ro­bin aga­in. In Feb­ru­ary 1940, Rad­nó­ti wro­te to Pier­re Guerlet, mi­nis­ter of France in Hun­gary, to re­ce­ive the French sta­te scho­lars­hip: he emp­has­i­zed his re­se­arch on Apollinaire’s po­etry and the trans­la­ti­on of his po­ems into Hun­ga­ri­an. His app­li­ca­ti­on was ran­ked first, but the scho­lars­hip was gi­ven to som­eo­ne else.

Be­low each let­ter ap­pe­ars the descript­ion of the do­cu­ment (any sig­ni­fi­cant end­or­se­ment, the lo­ca­ti­on of the ma­nuscript). Next co­mes the tex­tu­al ap­pa­ra­tus (no­tes), which expla­ins all the de­ta­ils of the do­cu­ment (iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of people, pla­ces and works ment­ion­ed, trans­la­ti­on of the let­ters into fo­rei­gn lan­gu­a­ges) and com­pa­res the data with ot­her do­cu­ments, such as the poet’s di­ary or his wife’s jour­nal. In some cas­es va­ri­ants and exist­ing drafts of the let­ter are also ci­ted in this part. In some no­tes the pub­lis­her ad­mits that the data could not be fo­und. I have fo­und th­ree of the­se un­iden­ti­fi­ed items and sha­re them here.

  1. Va­len­cia: un­iden­ti­fi­ed dance type” (p. 10) – Va­len­cia is a dance hit com­po­s­ed by José Pa­dil­la Sánc­hez (1889–1960) to the most be­au­ti­ful Spa­nish dan­cer, Va­len­cia in 1924, and it was also adap­ted to film in 1927. (V. A. Egy dalt adott a vi­lág­nak: Be­szél­ge­tés José Pa­dil­la­val a va­len­ci­á­ról… [He gave a song to the world: In­ter­view with José Pa­dil­la abo­ut Va­len­cia…], Pes­ti Nap­ló, 12 June 1927, 37.) (Fo­und in adtplus.arcanum.hu)

  2. Mau­ri­ce Scè­ve: Po­é­si­es (Gar­ni­er) an un­iden­ti­fi­ab­le edi­ti­on of poem coll­ec­ti­on” (p. 290–291) – This edi­ti­on is su­rely Oeuvres po­é­ti­ques complè­tes de Mau­ri­ce Scè­ve, édi­té par Ber­trand Gu­é­gan, Pa­ris: Gar­ni­er frè­res, 1927, 335 p. (Fo­und in catalogue.bnf.fr)

  3. Pier­re Guerlet (?–?) Mi­nist­re de France en Hong­rie (1938–1940)” – He was born in 1883 and died in 1953 (gw.geneanet.org)

The no­tes also of­ten re­fer to pho­tos pub­lis­hed in the book “You are a sharp light in sha­de”, pho­tos of the Rad­nó­ti co­up­le edi­ted by Edit Kräh­ling, pub­lis­hed one year be­fo­re this cor­res­pon­den­ce vo­lu­me with the same pub­lish­ing hou­se, Jaf­fa. With the se­cond vo­lu­me con­tain­ing all known let­ters exc­hang­ed bet­ween Rad­nó­ti and his wife, the comp­le­te edi­ti­on of Radnóti’s cor­res­pon­den­ce will give us a new pers­pec­tive on his life and po­etry.

A szerző az MTA BTK Irodalomtudományi Intézet
Bibliográfiai Osztályának tudományos munkatársa

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