Ag Apolloni in Debrecen is writing a fairy tale for adults
The Albanian writer, who is writing his new novel in our city, is fascinated by Debrecen. He is writing a fairy tale for adults here
Write: Hungarian Evelin
The writer came to our morning meeting in Nagytemplom wearing sunglasses and in a good mood. Ag Apolloni from the Writers’ Residence in Debrecen came to the conversation from a bourgeois house on Zöldfa Street. Although the Hungarian language is very difficult for him, he pronounces the name of the street with skill and understanding, then turns to Nagyerdő and the artists who have worked in the city: it is clear that the Albanian author, with whom we spoke in English, knows Hungarian culture well.
The Kosovar-Albanian writer applied for a scholarship at the Petőfi Cultural Agency after a friend spoke well of his creative period in Pecs. The author, known as a playwright and journalist, arrived in the city on July 15. For almost a month, he was filled with great experiences, creating, and immersing himself in culture and entertainment, all suited to his time.
– I like to wander around the city: I have been to the statue of Petőf before and it brought back many old memories. When I was a child, I read the poet’s book of poems in the city library and never forgot the lines: “For love I give my life, / for freedom I sacrifice love,” – the writer remembers our poet in the city center while drinking a coffee. Apollon was impressed not only by the poet’s poems, but also by his life journeys: the author regularly posts about this and his days in Debrecen on his Facebook page.
Apollon knows the work of Imre Kertész and Attila József, but he also likes Magda Szabo’s novel The Door: he visited the statue of the writer in the main square and the memorial house erected in her honor, but he also visited the statues of Lőrinc Szabó and Endre Ady, as well as the Memorial Garden, among others. The nature-loving writer likes to take pictures and happily shows me the pictures on the terrace of the cafe.
The writer also visited the performance of “The Magic Flute” and was impressed by the well-known opera. The creator, who also has theater experience, has also enjoyed the atmosphere of the Festival Games in Debrecen: last week he saw Mozart’s masterpiece, The Magic Flute, in the heart of the Great Forest.
Apollo was impressed by the performance in Hungarian with English subtitles, praising the look, sound and actors.
– The time spent in Debrecen has an inspiring effect on me: some elements of the city appear in my next novel – revealed the writer, who is currently writing a postmodern fairy tale intended for adults. The short novel, about 140 pages so far, will be a version of “Little Red Riding Hood”, in which the Kosovo war experienced by Apolloni also plays a role, as well as the violence against women during the war. The author has been doing well with his work over the past few weeks here. According to plans, his new volume will be published in early autumn.
Although his works have not yet been published in Hungarian, we hope that this short novel will also be read in Hungarian. The initiative would be exciting even because of the elements from Debrecen, I think, while Apollon also approves.
In addition to Hungarian literature, the writer also enjoyed local cuisine: his favorite is Hungarian goulash, but he also enjoyed beers. I also suggested “kürtőskalács” and “lángos” which he said he will definitely try.
Apolloni revealed that he plans to visit Budapest before he returns home: the capital is a childhood memory for him, he remembered what it was like to cross the big river as a child illegally fleeing to Germany with his family. He also does not consider it impossible to return to our country in the future, as he was very impressed by the local atmosphere.
(This article was taken from the Hungarian portal Dehir.hu, published on August 7, 2022)