György Odze: They spoke from above


For the third year, he was a theater director in a rural town. He is not exactly a power party, but in the depths of his soul it was never. He had to maneuver, be skillful, and be hypocritical many times, but life, he always said this to himself, he only said so, not even to himself, he wrote articles about it, because he was Géza Koppel, an acclaimed writer, by the time he was fifty he had published eight books. , he also wrote plays, which is why he became a stage director. Yes, sometimes you have to shape it, because many who talk about honor and character often just listen. There was no party of power, and Jenő Bágorki, the mayor, who was a party of power, accepted this, and even liked the fact that there is a non-power party theater director in the city, because he could prove that life is not about power, at least in this city. . They weren’t good or bad, many told him that Bágorki was cunning, he had to be careful, there were minor frictions between the two of them, small things, Koppel felt he was fair, but Bágorki must have felt that he was fair. One of the young actors, Attila Schmer, also always told him to take care, and even winked at him, take care, Mr. Director, all he said with insider confidentiality was not to get in trouble. Of course, Koppel thought, take care, I always had to, he had a love affair with Nori, the editor-in-chief of the local magazine, Schmer might have suggested. It was a topic in the city, small towns love such intimate stories, everyone knew, everyone knew that Koppel was married, his wife, Dr. Meinrich Elza dentist, lives in Budapest and only comes down to the premiere, visits, but doesn’t chat with anyone, there is no servus-servus relationship with anyone. Woman from Pest, she was told behind her. At first, Koppel didn’t like the name Elza. Essentially Elizabeth. But he didn’t like that name either. Liza is left. Medium marriage. Most marriages are mediocre, even written in a comedy. People laughed good while they were also living in a medium marriage. And a little love affair, a temptation, fits into almost any marriage, even the best. On a rainy morning in November, Bágorki called him. – The board has just met. We want to develop our cultural life. “That’s good news,” he said. – We’re counting on you. – Of course. Naturally. “We’d start a movie club at the Kossuth Cinema.” There would be an audience that college students would like as well. We leave the details to you. Koppel was happy for him. He has also written screenplays before and has had some short stories from which films were made. He wrote something about everything that happened in his life. And, of course, he also wrote about what could have happened or what he wanted if it happened. Dénes, an acquaintance of an old filmmaker, the producer still asked him for an idea, at least a short film short story, but now he has no topic, he replied. The film club was formed, there was a screening once a month, he introduced the performances. It was a success. He also proudly told Nóri about it. I am versatile. That was also the title of the interview Nóri had done with her. Versatile. It was premiered in May. Spiro. It’s a real classic today. Koppel knew him well, though they weren’t friends, Spiro was an aloof man, but they were as close as they could be. They were very prepared, he hadn’t been a real contemporary for years, Koppel had been compromising so far. Or adaptive. But now a lot of commercial pieces are gone, that was the need of the audience. Let’s have a little standard now. Spiro has not been a real success. The Queen was better. It was hot, too, maybe because of it. Small theater, poor ventilation. Every year, Koppel filed his renovation claims, but he was swept away every year. That’s not the most important thing now, they said. And it really wasn’t the most important thing. There are always more important things than important things. He had always spent the summer with Liza, they had gone somewhere. My marriage is good, she told Nori, but my wife is not interesting enough. You’re interesting, that’s what he told her, but we’re not sure we’d live well together, and Nóri settled in because she loved independence, she loved that role to be the theater director’s lover. We are on holiday in Croatia now, he told Nori, but it will be boring. Every holiday with Lisa is boring. And it was boring, waiting for it to end. He was called by Bágorki in August. “We have applied for the position of director,” the mayor said, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “I have another year,” he said. At first he didn’t even understand. It was a weak sentence, but he couldn’t think of a better one. “I know,” Bágorki nodded. – But we want to rejuvenate. “I’m fifty,” he said, but by then he felt like he had decided, and he wouldn’t be a director anymore. – I think it’s starting to go well. You also saw next year’s plan. “Yes,” Bágorki replied. – Promising. That’s why. For development. “Let’s get to the point,” Koppel replied. “I deserve so much to be honest.” You’ve been praised in heaven for a few more weeks. – You deserved it. But there are things that have caused displeasure in the city. You run a movie club and you also show movies you might not need. And this Spiro was a fall too. You shouldn’t bring in your buddies. – Not my buddy. “Don’t be sensitive, Géza, I’m not saying this, these are the sounds in town.” – I did not hear it. “That’s the problem,” Bágorki leaned back comfortably. – That you can’t hear. Plus, there’s Nori. – What’s wrong with him? Does it violate morals? – That’s not the point. His magazine writes a lot about you, and it’s not lucky. He takes his friends to the theater for free. And it is common for you to drink more recently. He was seen several times during the day in Dahlia. You drank dear Martell. – This is not true. And if yes? – Never mind. It could be true. But this is only an incidental circumstance. – So, who am I fired for? – No, it’s easier if you resign. – Why is it easier? – Because it precedes a comprehensive financial investigation. – It’s clear. Do you already have a new director? – We’re looking now. We will discuss everything else. Koppel understood. Bágorki offered to escort him to the yard where he parked. – The truth is, there’s already a candidate. In fact. We have a new director, ”he said outdoors. – Who is it? – Irén Kecsák. – Who is he? – Actress from Budapest. “I’ve never heard his name,” Koppel said, but he wasn’t surprised. “Neither do I,” he admitted. – That’s not the point. Her husband is a representative. They said from above to be him. – I thought it wasn’t like that from above. – Of course not. It’s just really now. “All right,” it was kind of more reassuring to Koppel. If they spoke from above, there is nothing to do. They shook hands. – And they’re asking you not to write it. Koppel nodded. Fuck you, he thought. A writer thinks this if they want to tell him what not to write. He didn’t go back to the theater anymore, it would be a waste of time. Rather, he walked over to Dahlia, ordering a Martell. Not to write yet? (Open sentence)

Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.

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