Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
With Gabi Schuller we went to Vörösmarty square, where they held Könyvhét (Bookweek) bookfestival, on both June 6-7-8. We were supposed to sign the book for interested readers, but we were rained in on both days. Sold very few books. My other books were on sale too, the ’Downtown Blues’ and the ’Theremin’ sold much better than the ’Yippie’.
I’ve been trying to get some reviews about the new book. I contacted Szabolcs Benedek, a book critic for Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature), the leading literature magazine in the country. I wrote a number of articles for the int he past and they have published reviews on both of my earlier books. This time they were not receptive at all. Mr. Benedek called them up and asked if they would publish his review on the ’Yippie!’ book. The answer was no. I had similar bad luck with the public television’s cultural programme and the Klub Radio, both of which interviewed me a lot of times in the past.
I spoke with Éva Almási, owner and chief editor of artportal.hu. I’ve been writing art related articles and did my AudioGuides for her portal for the past 5-6 years. The money I’ve earned from this job paid my rent. Now she told me the bad news: the portal ran out of money, so for the next months she can pay me only half of the amount which she paid me up until now. I have no idea how will I make it through the summer.
I’ve completed the ’From the library of Leopold Bloom’, a two volumes video book, which I will show on the coming Sunday (June 15, 2008), at the Irokéz Gallery, in Szombathely (a small town in the Western part of Hungary), as part of the local Bloomsday Festival. The video book contains the 'Bloom's Prayer', a five parts series of videos I created for my last year's Bloomsday performance with Anima Sound System, and also my new 'Yippie Trilogy'. They will pay me a miniscule honorarium for my video presentation, just enough to pay for my food during my three days stay in Szombathely.
I am totally bored of my long lasting, dire finantial situation. Can’t even afford to have a coffee or a drink in a restaurant. The past year was particularly bad, in terms of earnings, due to the economical crisis int he country. The Socialist government of young ex-communist billionaires screwed up the economy royally. I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I called up everybody I know, asking for work, to no avail so far. I am trying to forget about my stupid situation, so dark thoughts won’t infect my body. I don’t have health insurance, can’t afford to get ill.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
After much back and forth games and delays the ’YIPPIE!’ book is finally out. I’ve got my copies today. Now comes the next phase: promoting the book. I have to do it myself, because my publisher will not put any effort and money to it, but surely he'll blame me if the product wouldn't sell. I will not get any financial rewards for selling more copies, but I want people to read the book, because I think it is an important source of information in this time and age. The book is about the youth culture of the 1960s-70s America, it is about a hopeful age, when most people of my generation have thought that a better world is in the making. It is about idealism and real community, rock music and sexual liberation, about masses of people who believed that war is a crime, racial and sexual discrimination must be stopped and that the power of the government must be controlled and curtailed. While writing the book I relived my youth. It is a very personal piece of writing. As I was turning my memories to words I was trying to be as direct, sincere and personal as I could. It is not a scholarly work by any means, but - similarly to my earlier 'Downtown Blues' book - rather a rock and roll diary.
I have organized an introductory party for the new book, at the Merlin International Theatre (Budapest). It is going to be on Friday, June 6, 2008, starting at 7 PM. My publisher, Golyós Toll has provided me with some wine and the writers’ association (Szépírók Társasága), which I am a member of is supporting the event with a small grant (about US $ 100). Unfortunatelly they won't support my other scheduled book presentations (one at the University of Theatre Arts, Kaposvár, the other at the Líra bookstore, in Szombathely), so I had to cancel them. With audio and video material I collected on the Net I created an hour long video documentary, titled 'Yippie Trilogy', which will open the Merlin evening. With my co-writer Gabriella Schuller we'll autograph the book during the Book Week (Könyvhét) book fare, at Vörösmarty square (Budapest), in Pavillion 7, on June 6, 4 PM - 5 PM, on June 7-8, 5PM - 6 PM.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
I had my first monthly WordCitizen show at the Merlin International Theatre (Budapest, Hungary). I opened with two recently created video pieces – 'American Dreams' (the music of which can be found as an AudioGuide, on artportal.hu) and ‘Peter Halasz Overture’ (set to music from my 'Downtown Blues' CD) – then proceeded with free talk about Peter Halasz and the ongoing saga of the 'Yippie!' book. I gave an overview on the history of civil disobedience (from Henry David Thoreau to Abbie Hoffman) in America. I talked about the beats (William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Ken Kesey), about the birth of the hippie generation, about the yippies, the gentrification of New York and the conservativism of the new generations. I detailed the parallel history of Hungary in the 1960-70s and referred to the current situation, both local and global. I talked for about 90 minutes. The audience (about 2 dozen people) consisted mostly of old and new friends, there were only about 3-4 people I did not know personally. The show was not publicized well enough, which explains why so few people came. It was partly my fault: I promoted the show as part of a series, instead of saying that it is going to be a unique event, which gave people a good excuse for saying that they will rather attend the next performance instead of the current one. I could not avoid the usual very Hungarian type technical catastrophe: the stage lights did not work, so I talked in semi darkness, only the video projector and a small candle provided some light. Nevertheless, the audience liked the show. Today afternoon I am going to give an interview to the Hungarian public radio about the project.