Someone has taken a different road... – Endre Ady on the Road and Seeking a Way Out

Someone has taken a different road... – Endre Ady on the Road and Seeking a Way Out

Someone has taken a different road... - Endre Ady on the Road and Seeking a Way Out
Editing, compilation, supplementary studies and index of photos by László Boka – Zsuzsanna Rózsafalvi
Design, layout and pre-print: Judit Vincze
National Széchényi Library – Hungarian Academy of Arts Publishing House, Bp., 2019, 248 pages
ISBN 978-963-200-708-3

5 800,- Ft

Traveling, being on the road or setting off and going on a journey is a central symbol in Ady’s poetry. The frequent travel motifs in his poetic language are also important because in his images, plastic and lively verses and well-known motifs, which he transformed into visions, readers of his own time thought the subject of the poems to be the same as the specific biographical author, the poet and journalist Endre Ady. He indeed spent a significant part of his life on the road, traveling, away from his homeland. Instead of homeliness, the forms of existence of transience, non-arrival and temporality are evoked in connection with his personality and poems.

Over the last hundred years, many recollections and dissertations have reported on the most important moments and locations of this winding life, Ady’s loved or resentful cities, moments of his life leading him to coffee houses, editorial offices, motels, hotel rooms, and later to sanitariums, however, quite a few writings dealt with the personality of Adre Endre as a traveller, and the effects of the travels on personality development, as well as the nodes and issues of identity formation thus manifested.

Ady’s wanderings in Europe and the Carpathian Basin, the physical movements of frequent relocations, are in all cases symbols of something more, of search, of exile, of dissatisfaction, of an individual who is out of place, as well as of eternal hope. We know that the poet longed for leaving his narrower environment and the realities of his society behind, but he could not completely break away from it. He was attracted to everything new; he often hoped for his happiness, peace, and the fulfillment of his love from the travels, from the change of location itself. At the end of his journeys, however, he was often disappointed, did not receive the expected solace, his life became more and more solitary, left without a chance to escape, and it was no longer possible to turn back.

From these considerations, on the one hand, our volume seeks to show a mostly unknown legacy to the general public on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Endre Ady. On the other hand, through two framing studies by László Boka and Zsuzsanna Rózsafalvi, we approached the oeuvre, its various locations, scenes and stations from an aspect that has so far been little studied – Ady’s external and internal journeys.

The image material selected for our album is the most valuable part of the so-called Ady collection of the National Széchényi Library which consists of autograph poems, photographs, letters, postcards, autobiographies and memoirs, dedications from first editions, and personal relics, supplemented along the chosen theme to a small extent by photographic material from treasures preserved in other public collections.

We hope that our album, which presents a total of about 350 relics, is a worthy tribute to the great poet who passed away a hundred years ago, as well as a valuable publication that encourages us to reread Ady’s oeuvre and is able to nuance our picture of him.

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