NÁDAS, PÉTER - TALÁLKOZÁS
(1979. A tragedy without a break. Characters: 1 man, 1 woman, 3 musicians)
The aging Maria is getting ready to commit suicide in her flat: she is dissolving poison in a glass of wine. Before her death, however, she is expecting the Young Man to visit her, the son of her former lover, to reminisce on the past. Maria slowly starts to tell her story: she was born in an aristocratic family, married a wealthy Jewish man before the war, she ended up alone after the war, his husband’s family and the political power deprived her of everything. She tried to escape to Vienna in the 50’s but state police caught her and put her in prison. After her release, she met the father of the Young Man, they fell in love. But Mária was arrested again. This is when she realized that her lover was an agent of the State Police, shocked himself when he realized that the tormented victim and his lover are one and the same person. After she was released, the man could not cope with the pressure and committed suicide. The Young Man cannot face up with the sins of his father, he runs away, but soon he returns to the flat. Maria gives him a meticulous wash, from head to toe, in a ritual-like manner, absolving him of his father’s sins. The woman, after having drunk the poisoned wine, leaves the flat: she leaves the room to the Young Man, together with the morale of this story.
Péter NÁDAS (1942-)
He was a photographer’s apprentice before going to journalist school. From 1969 he has been a freelance writer. His mother dies early, his father was a high-ranking party officer, later harassed, after which he finally committed suicide. This weighty heritage, coming to terms with the traumatic past became a defining element of his writing. His first play was premiered in 1980, Cleaning. After this he wrote three additional play: Encounter (1979), Burial (1980), Siren Song (2010). The latter won the prize for the Best Hungarian Play of the Season. His works have been translated into many languages. In 1985 he received the József Attila prize, in 1992 the Kossuth prize, while in 1995 the Leipziger Buchpreis für Europäische Verständigung. In 1998 his novel, A Book of Memories receives the prize for the best foreign language book of the year in France. His selected works are published in the volume Rowohlt 8. In Autumn 2003 he received the Franz Kafka prize in Prague. He is a member of the Széchenyi Literary and Artistic Academy. In 2005 he was awarded the Pro Urbe Budapest prize, in January 2006 the Márai prize. In June 2006 he was elected among the members of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 2010 he received the Honorary Citizen of Budapest award.