April 11 is the Day of Hungarian Poetry. On this occasion, we are pleased to announce that writer and editor Péter Farkas has donated to Blinken OSA Archivum his collection related to the democratic opposition and the literary scene of 1980s Hungary.
Born in 1955, Hungarian writer and editor Péter Farkas emigrated to Germany in 1982, but continued to keep in touch with the democratic opposition and with Hungarian writers both at home and in exile. He worked as second-hand book dealer and radio journalist, launched a series of tamizdat publications in Cologne titled Irodalmi Levelek (Literary letters), and organized literary and cultural events. His writings initially appeared in samizdat, and were published by Magvető publishing house following the 1989 regime change; he received the Sándor Bródy and Sándor Márai prizes.
Despite its eclectic and fragmentary nature, the collection donated to Blinken OSA Archivum is highly interesting and fits into the Archivum’s holdings. The personal correspondences of Farkas with Zsolt Csalog, Zoltán Zsille, Ottilia Solt, and other friends and acquaintances both from Hungary and the West provide a unique insight into the everyday life of the members of the democratic opposition in the 1980s, and complement our various samizdat collections (e.g. the János Kis, György Krassó, Géza Sáska collections), the videos of the Black Box Foundation, and the press and radio monitoring of the Hungarian Unit of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute.
Quite outside the Archivum’s field of interest, the donation includes valuable literary rarities, such as the manuscript of György Petri’s poem Hogy elérjek a napsütötte sávig (To reach the sunlit path) and several of his books with an inscription to Farkas, or the typescript of Béla Szász’s unpublished short stories and the related correspondence.
Manuscript of György Petri’s Hogy elérjek a napsütötte sávig, from the Péter Farkas collection.
(Blinken OSA Archivum)