The Visit

(Ferenc Dávid, or unus est Deus? 1970. Historical play in 3 acts, prose. Characters: 5 men, 1 woman)

Géza Páskándi was inspired by the Transylvanian events of 1578. He wanted to commemorate the historical character of Ferenc Dávid, who was the founder of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church. But the play is not only about this great man of religion but also about his adversary, Socino. He was accommodated at Dávid’s house in the hope that he would submit reports about Dávid. Socino, however, could only commit treachery out of his full conviction, as dictated by his faith – but only when he ascertained that the bishop is guilty. As an excuse, he believes that it is better for everybody, even for Dávid, if it is him and nobody else that writes these reports. Mária, the servant, is also a snitcher, she reports orally, since she is illiterate. Socino tries to soothe his conscience and is in constant fight with his commissioner, the ruthless Blandrata, who thinks that Dávid is an abomination to the church. Socino desperately looks for Dávid’s sins, but finds nothing in the end. Mária is expecting a child – not even she knows who the father is. For Christmas Eve the soldiers are already expected to arrive. Socino’s already shaky peace of mind is shattered even more when he follows Marian to the corridor, killing the pregnant woman for treason. Finally, the two men are spending Christmas Eve together, waiting for the soldiers, who arrive, which puts an end to the visit.   


GÉZA PÁSKÁNDI (1933-1995)

Between 1949-53 he was the editor of a Hungarian language journal in Bucharest: Ifjúmunkás, later was employed by the Hungarian literary journal in Kolozsvár/Cluj, Utunk. His fate was determined by the 1956 Revolution: due to his heroic stance during these times, he was put to trial in 1957 for public incitement, and sentenced to six years in prison. He was a prisoner in the infamous Danube delta with many of his Hungarian fellow sufferers. Even after his release, the authorities tried to make his literary activity impossible: he was banned publication, a ban only lifted in 1965. Between 1970 and 1974 he was the principal copy editor of Kriterion Publishing House, but since he could no longer stand the permanent criticism, he moved to Hungary in 1974, in order to preserve his freedom of speech.