Menü Bezárás

Anna Ágoston Enikő: Like a Butterfly from its Chrysalis

There are many species of butterflies in the world: those who live to collect them, or those who Visit the collections of natural history museums and come face to face with the sea of colorful wings behind the displays, know this. The amazing ability of the butterfly is to transform with the chrysalis, but there are species, that are capable of continuous change – even after leaving the caterpillar form. It is a surprising experience that only we see the color of blue butterflies, morpho menelaus – as blue but as we examine it more closely, the trick of the light-reflecting surface becomes visible, how the surface becomes varied and vibrates. The microstructure of wings is similar to the light’s wavelength, so the surface of the butterfly in the reaction of light causes color. In the diffraction, the light bends, so wings become the light source with the vibrating effect. In the analysis of Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry, it serves as an occasion for nature and literary studies to meet. Lóránt Kabdebó analyses Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry as it would be a morpho menelaust, which has a special microstructure with a color-changing ability. The blue color is an optical effect, but vibrating wings make the impacted light go to their light source.

’That’s easy to learn: the traditionability of the Western poetry. How proudly he writes: The Hungarian poetry speaks my language –  when he (like the butterfly from its larva!)  steps out from the tradition to be re-evaluated and fixed by himself.’ Kabdebó found a poetic speech, with roots in the tradition of the Nyugat journal, although this poetry went through a transformation, which makes the speech unique and continuously changing. The poetry obtains an inner dynamic as the butterfly’s vibrating surface: there is not a stable color, but the poetic speech is continuously renewable and specific, which gives the poetry’s homogenous character despite the permanent transformations. Lőrinc Szabó’s poetic language functions in a linguistic-poetic structure as a changing wing in the effect of the light: there is not a concrete color, but the microstructure of poetic language is special. Kabdebó embraces all the life’s work in this study to understand every movement of changing color ability. The recognition of this light-bender structure – how this poetry continuously breaks the outer effects and how the language is in a transformation – needs the knowledge of life’s work and the poet’s biography.

The study volume not only follows the continuous dynamics of changes in their life’s work based on different themes but also the biographical side of the poet: we get to know Lőrinc Szabó through long quotes and diary entries. We get the effects related to lyrical development with the quotations in such a way that it is not necessary to visit the library for the sources for understanding: everything is present in the studies in a comprehensible and perceptible way. It is without doubt that Lóránt Kabdebó was one of the greatest connoisseurs of Lőrinc Szabó. In the first chapter of the study volume, we can get to know the spirit of work fueled by enthusiasm, which inspired the author at the beginning of his career to study Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry even in solitary research. Over time, with sensitivity and patience, he selected, taught, and brought researchers together. He showed that the significance of Lőrinc Szabó’s life’s work is confirmed by the opportunities it contains, which is also supported by the countless publications and the three-volume critical edition. The author of the study volumes was the soul and driving force behind Lőrinc Szabó’s research over the last fifty years, which is reflected in the volume’s versatility, the exploration of the contact network of distant points in his life’s work. Kabdebó continuously mentions his previous research results inserting them by rewriting or confirming the results of the present volume. He makes a recommendation for even more detailed information, therefore testifying to his extensive knowledge of life’s work. Meanwhile, he relives the poetry of Lőrinc Szabó, so it will be his case to show the poetry’s values and the poet’s exciting features.

Lóránt Kabdebó provides a broad perspective on the life work of Lőrinc Szabó. He highlights the poet’s inner dialogue about existence, his questions and answers, and with it, the continuous renewal of his poetry. The versions of existence are revealed on a metaphysical plane in this poetic path, which, like an invisible light, is captured by language and given color in the lyrical microstructure. But this color is not the color of the outside world, because the poem becomes the source of color and light vibrating sensually, like the wing structure of a blue butterfly. Despite the comprehension of ’horrific’ and unchangeable Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry is capable of continuous renewal by thinking about existence. His poetry overwrites traditional interpretations of existence by constantly questioning the moments of existence and including them in verse. Researching the last two volumes of the life’s work, the lyrical expression changes again and again with the incessant questioning. This dynamic provides one of the specialties of Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry. The permanent inner dialogue renews the linguistic forms in addition to semantic changes. At the end of life’s work, in the Cricket Music (Tücsökzene) and The twenty-sixth years (A huszonhatodik év) he reaches the poetics of life in the poetry of destiny, the experience of existence can be connected with the creation, which achieves a new method of questioning the completeness of existence. The poet creates a growing poetic-linguistic system, with an existence and light-catching ability to express existence. Kabedbó’s book uses close and comprehensive reading to understand this in detail.

Kabdebó considers the tradition of Nyugat, which builds the poetic ’chrysalis’, but he analyses the lights of Hungarian and foreign author’s effects as these vibrate on the wing’s surface. It reveals comparative relationships that affect the poet and that can be brought into relation afterward, which create the color effects of this poetry in a philological way, or enrich the interpretation and give new light and color to the lyrical language after the poet’s death. It is as if these poems, like the butterflies already frozen and stuck in a display case, are capable of a vibrating sensual effect even if separated from the philological context, the illumination of the microstructure with new lights. Reinterpretation through a comparative method gives new light and colors to the wings and the poems. To name just a few of these philological and comparative influences: Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Heidegger, Goethe, Horatius, Nietzsche. Meanwhile, the monograph reveals arrestingly how the poet draws on different religions, blends or highlights them in the poetic formation, in answering the questions of existence: he is also nourished by Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam.

With the close reading method, the depth of life’s work and its formation can be discovered. The grammatic-syntactic interpretation of the poem In the Desert (Sivatagban) points to the microstructure of Lőrinc Szabó’s poetics and supports the thoroughness of the poetic formulation related to existence. Kabdebó observes his butterfly’s wing structure as closely as possible. In this reading, the kind of thoughtfulness that characterizes Kadebó’s entire work as a literary historian is profound; he makes visible the author’s human side, his own reading through philological research, but in the meantime takes into account the poem’s poetic value, which can be separated from the author and his experiences. Besides the poetic ontology of In the Desert, we come to know Lőrinc Szabó, who during his Egyptian journey observes the world’s most simple things with the same analytical style as he builds the grammatical-syntactic structures of his poems. We see his observation ability from how he bends down to the desert sand to get a close view of how it is, how it reacts to water, and how crystalline it has been shaped by time. We get insight into his attitude as a poet and world observer, but at the same time, Kabdebó draws attention to the separability of Egyptian experiences and the poem. The poem operates in itself because its structure creates a personal and temporal experience, in which the self is not present in person, but through its perceptions. Although Kabdebó thinks in a wider perspective, at the same time with this close reading he proves that behind the poetic network that drives many poems in his studies, there are deep layers that underlie his observations.  

From a wide point of view, the poems put each other in a different light, which expands the space of their interpretation, in the studies a more complex dialogue evolves demonstrating the poetic richness. Kabdebó uses every known detail to show the monumental poetic spectacle, for example, he writes about The Last Night of Esenin (Jeszenin utolsó éjszakája) in the spectacle of Lőrinc Szabó’s poetic system. We get a complete picture of the creative perception through his poetics. The structure of Kabedbó’s study volume reaches the academic cathartic experience, with the last chapter, in the meeting of ars poetica and theology, all the poetic principles and philological experiences discussed in previous chapters come together. It is as if we are thinking together with the research author during the philological collection work, going through the issues of poetic-linguistic, life-poetry thinking, until together we see the entire panorama, which until then we could only discover in details, from closer glimpses. Kabdebó guides the reader through his explorations without limiting the voices of Lőrinc Szabó or his contemporaries who influenced him and came into contact with his poetics. He finds the quantitative limits of quotability with such fine sensitivity that the quoted voice can be interpreted on its own without him directing the interpretation, rather he subtly hides his thought processes alongside the poems. The reader can pick up the study volume in an experiential way to search for the allusions in the library, he gets everything in hand as if we are present in the literary historian’s research journey, and he has space to think further about Lőrinc Szabó’s poetry and connected works. Meanwhile, Kabdebó’s relationship with the poet reveals itself. We can participate in his way of how he explores the poet’s human side and relationship systems through his philological work. It complements the poetic path with another interpretation path but does not overwrite the lyrical life’s work, and renders a more personal connection with the poet.

The poet’s intellectual relationships and the influence of the people around him are revealed. The most significant moments of the poet’s life become visible, which progress parallel to his poetic development. A lyrical way of speaking is created that can be separated from the biography, but when read together, the figure of the poet emerges. While reading the monograph, we are in the past, when Lőrinc Szabó – at the beginning of his career – shows his poem Flood! Flood! (Áradás, áradás!) to Mihály Babits, who was a significant figure in the literary sphere. We take part in this memory that Babits starts to tremble and his words echo in the past biography: ’greater verse than this was not written since Vörösmarty’. Lőrinc Szabó explores ’horrific’ with this poem and tests the criminalized poetics poetry, preparing to look at the rolelessness of human existence. We can understand the poetic and personal relationship between Attila József and Lőrinc Szabó. As Lőrinc Szabó admitted, throughout his life he was driven by inner monologues which he conducted with himself or with a worthy companion. Lóránt Kabdebó explores the experiences – when Attila József recited the poems of You and the World (Te meg a világ), and sometimes criticized and sometimes praised Lőrinc Szabó’s inner dialogues. The generational difference and the historical background form two types of poetic vision in the two poets, which enter into dialogue and shape the creative path. Lőrinc Szabó continues the inner discussion with Attila József despite his death, he continues the internal debate with him until Cricket Music, in which his poetry of life is fulfilled.

’I do know that this declaration is audacious but it has its basis: the Word and promise of the Lord!’ – are the words of the pastor at the funeral of Lőrinc Szabó which are from the monograph’s lines. Kabdebó mentions these words again and again throughout his life, as he pays respect every year at the commemoration organized on the day of the poet’s death. We can relive the literary memory with the university student Kabdebó, and our eyes as his eyes meet with the famous poet, László Német’s green eyes at the funeral. Nevertheless, the sentence about Lőrinc Szabó becomes significant in the memory, just as the pastor’s words become stronger in the memory and in the literary historian’s life as well. The personal tone of the study volume increases, as we understand: that the linguistic dimension of Lőrinc Szabó’s poetic life’s work and life events, as well as his personal experiences, is woven throughout Kabdebó’s life. The words get into the blood circulation of the author and these words are heard again and again while interpreting the life’s work. One illuminating example of this is how Kabdebó realizes what ’Brain of a Poet’ (’egy Költő Agya’) means when giving the title of his previous monograph and admits in the present volume from his: ’I attained the understanding of the oxymoron occurring in the poetry of Lőrinc Szabó’. Dialogues are created in the study volume that is made up of the interweaving of the present literary historian and the dead poet, as well as the living poet and those who came into contact with him in the past. An interesting example of how Lőrinc Szabó is embedded in the literary historical understanding of the discovery of how Lőrinc Szabó, during his meeting with Sándor Joó, a pastor from Passarét, and a Protestant theologian married couple who graduated abroad, finds a way to the oxymoron of the poet’s brain and the universe.

’Why do write and why do read people’s verses at the time of changes in history?’ – asks Kabdebó. ’The reply of Lőrinc Szabó’s verses: because of the subterranean rivulets hidden in the text that look for the interrelation between ››The Poet’s Brain‹‹ and the ››Universe‹‹’. Although the question and the answer refer to the past, the monograph not only reveals the context of the poet’s era but also connects with the present reader discovering the importance of poetic speech and reviving the poet’s human character. The volume is a voluminous testimony about the still vibrant poetics of Lőrinc Szabó, the testimony of a literary historian who gave his life to the poet to show this dynamically functioning lyric. Complexity, attention to the whole world, and poetic creativity that utilises all its senses radiates from Lőrinc Szabó’s poems. At the same time, we get to know the attention of the researcher from the volume, identifying the author’s attitude, opening up to a wider world experience by following the author’s footsteps, thereby making diverse and exciting poetic observations in the life’s work. Both the poet and the researcher turn to literature with inspiring devotion. The monograph is evidence of this inspiring research attitudede. There is no better expression for the poetic attitude than Lóránt Kabdebó writing about the writing period of Cricket Music: ’Almost a double ego lives within it: the first one is restricted to the occasional events, experiences the torments of desolation, the other enters the process of creation with preterhuman effort.’

Vélemény, hozzászólás?