The new volume, which is a continuation of the 2020 edition of Erre höttün – Debrecen 21. századi versekpen, as well as works based on his own perspective and experiences regarding the city of Cívis, but in this case we can speak of a dialogue-like prose collection. Szilvia Szilágyi talked to the authors. Miklós Szénási, a writer, poet, journalist and editor born in Debrecen, born in 1967, can be found on many cultural platforms. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Dehír portal. Most people in the media refer to him as a “cultural adventurer”. Zsolt Heller, born in 1970, also living in Debrecen, from a Transylvanian Hungarian Jewish family, is a lyricist and university teacher who does a lot for the Jews of Debrecen. The author couple explained that the joint work was inspired by their own experiences, life in the housing estates, communism. The authors are already familiar with all of Debrecen’s nooks and crannies, with the help of which they can convey to the reader what Debrecen is like, mentioning those locations that are closely related to their daily lives, or even recall important events for others.
“It really feeds off of multiple roots. We have known each other for a very long time, so to speak, both of us lived grund life in the city. If one takes out the children’s films made during communism, one can see that we experienced the same things as the characters in the films. The spiritual connection between us can make up for an intellectual lack. Still, I think the reader should know us a little. When the volume of short stories was finished, we selected almost the same streets, only with a different approach,” said Zsolt Heller. When asked to what extent the spirit of the place is integrated into the identity of the person, they said that we can really talk about the identity of an era, which is none other than communism. Zsolt Heller said that for him it was only clear, since he grew up among Jews, for him his identity is Debrecen, his Jewishness and his sense of being Hungarian.
It was also discussed how much we can talk about the role of fiction and reality in the writings, depending on whether they were written in the singular, first person or third person. “The Hungarian language is rich. I live with the fact that there is a choice. Still, this is tricky, since I had another volume of prose where I narrated a fate in the first person singular, but I had nothing to do with it. The answer came that they are sorry for how difficult my childhood was. To the question of which story is true and which is not, I can answer that they are both true and fiction. On my part, it’s a kind of game, but basically it’s my life and my age, or what I’ve experienced, or I’m writing someone’s story, in that sense each story is true,” said Szénási. The volume contains twelve short stories by Miklós Sénási and six short stories by Zsolt Heller about life, people, streets and events in Debrecen. Within the framework of the presentation, Miklós Szénási’s “Nothing can depend on this” and the prose composition “Casting” by Zsolt Heller were performed by the actor Zsolt Csata. After the presentation, those interested had the opportunity to purchase the author couple’s volume.