29. August 2020

Open Letter to Europe 2020

24th Days of Poetry and Wine in Ptuj were opened with an honorary reading of Open Letter to Europe, written by Hungarian poet and prose writer Krisztina Tóth.

Open Letter to Europe is a very important message, as it has the potential to reach and address many authorities, individuals and institutions, across Europe.

One of the most widely read Hungarian author pointed out that this was a very honorable act for her, and at the same time she admitted that this kind od genre is a real challenge for the poet, because it includes speaking about the political situation in your homeland and Europe.

When we asked her which effect she wanted to reach out of readers, while writing this letter, she answered that she doesn’t think about the effect or response while writing. She believes that the author should be deeply involved in the text itself. This is what she calls credibility. She always tries to be deeply involved, to be pesonal, to be independent in her own way. By showing a personal story she produces some kind of a »mirror effect«, which shows to the readers their own stories. Krisztina Tóth is deeply convinced that literature can not propose solutions, but ask the right questions and make us think.

In her Open Letter to Europe there is a motif of illness that reflects today’s rhythm of life, which she considers as problematic. The consequences of this rhythm are such "illnesses" as nationalism, class differences, homophobia, aggression and hate speech, that are present in Europe. She thinks that maybe this is the last moment for us to decide how we are going to live.

Interestingly, all the time while having a debate with the audience, she has been emphasizing the importance of irony that has to be present in our lives.

“Do not be angry. Be ironic. Do not be afraid of reactions. If it is radical, it means that the text is well structured.« Krisztina Tóth, author of the Open Letter Europe 2020

In the end of our debate she gave us an excellent advice. She always advises to learn your favorite poem by heart. So no matter where you will end up in life, in a particular country or a situation, your favorite poem will always protect you.