Attila Bartis

© Attila Bartis
© Attila Bartis
Attila Bartis

Readings

Tranquility

Kütahya Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Konferans Salonu
03.12.2009, 10:00

Kütahya Gülten Dayıoğlu Halk Kütüphanesi
05.12.2009, 14:00


Biography

Attila Bartis was born in Marosvásárhely in the Romanian part of Transylvania in 1968. His family was part of the Hungarian minority in Romania, and his father, a journalist, was subjected to harassment until the family emigrated to Budapest in 1984. Here, in the capital of Hungary, Attila Bartis studied photography, a profession he still practices today. His photographs have been shown in a variety of exhibitions. Bartis has received several fellowships for his work as a photographer as well as for his literary work, including the Móricz Zsigmond Fellowship for his first novel. He was honored with the Tibor Déry Award and the Márai Award. He lives today in Budapest. (Text: international literature festival berlin)

Bibliography
  • A Lázár apokrifek, 2005
  • A nyugalom (English: Tranquility), 2001
  • A kéklö pára, 1998
  • A séta, 1995
Tranquility

The career of the celebrated Budapest actress Rebeka Weér, who was unforgettable in the role of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, ends overnight. The reason? Her daughter Judit, a highly talented violinist, has defected to the West. Under pressure from the authorities, Rebeka tries to persuade Judit to return — but her efforts are in vain. In order to save her own career, Rebeka declares that her daughter has died, stages a funeral and sends obituaries to high-ranking individuals in the cultural scene and the party apparatus.

When these efforts fail to bring about her reinstatement, she withdraws into her apartment. For 15 years she refuses to set foot outside her home and watches over every step taken by her son, who aspires to be a writer. While a political system is breaking apart outside Rebeka’s door, it becomes increasingly obvious that her son will never escape from the trap woven by hate, extortion and obsessions. Not even when, after various unhappy love affairs, he meets Estzer Féher on Liberty Bridge and falls in love with her.

Attila Bartis tells this story with oppressive intensity. This roman noir, which in some of its aspects is reminiscent of works by Sartre and Camus, is a family saga, a novel about an artist, and at the same time one of the lasting books about the collapse of the Communist system in Hungary.