There Anna is a full - time reader and cultural organizer in the coolest sense of the word: Hadik artistic director of the Margo Literary Festival one of its main organizers, a lecturer at METU since September this year, and also writes regularly for Könyves Magazine and Elle Magazine, literary walks and leads conversations. Probably his name is associated with also the most popular Hungarian literature-themed instagram page, which has created a fantastic marathon reading club in collaboration with Jelenkor Publishing - more than three months ago together with him we can read Péter Nádas's great novel Parallel Stories, which can provide each reader with a special and unrepeatable literary experience. 

Anna and I talked about vocation, style, dress, leisure and of course reading. Welcome to our interview!

- How did you become a reader and what does reading mean to you?

“As a kid and a teenager, I read it to break out of reality. In my TED speech, I said this about reading, and I may not be able to put it any better: "It's a resource. It's not a hobby, it's not a fad, it's not a pose, it's not like a magnet, it's a resource for me to read. And my biggest pride and my biggest pride is that this resource is also my job today.

 

 

- What does your working day look like, how can your various activities be reconciled?

- I try to organize my days as efficiently and transparently as possible a week in advance. The mornings are at home, at which point I sit down in front of my machine and write articles, more breath-taking materials, I reply to emails because I am the most collected in the morning. Then come the discussions during the day, lately evenings are also full of work, or I have a literary conversation or literary walks. Since I work in several places, it also helps to schedule the days of the week, so I marginalize on Monday, I teach at the university on Tuesdays, the Hadikos Day on Wednesday and Thursday, and I read on Fridays. This line pattern sounds nice, so in reality it often crosses my plans.

- In addition to the many different tasks, when do you have time to read? Do you specifically have reading time that is sacred and inviolable?

“I can’t read during the day because my brain keeps ringing, the phone rings and emails come in, and by evening I’m usually very tired. So I prefer to read in the morning, I get up an hour first, so I have time to read in peace and quiet. I recommend this to anyone who can do it, because the day starts quite differently. The weekends are also for reading and from that point of view I have remained a child, I have time for really great reading experiences during the winter break and the summer break.

- Where and how do you like to spend your free time, how do you recharge after a long week?

- I grew up in Szentendre, so the proximity of the small town and nature has always been important, but in recent years the emphasis has shifted to work and performance. We spent most of the quarantine in the Mecsek, for which we could not have made a better decision. It was hard to recover, so we vowed to spend as much time as we could. We are in the woods from Friday morning to Sunday evening with lots of books and our two dogs. Only here can I really relax and recharge. These days are spent in a completely different rhythm than the ones in Budapest, we lie in the dark, get up at sunrise, read in the fresh air all day, hike and eat. That’s exactly what the sun is all about, so we can regain the energy we burn and use five days a week with rush, stress, work.

 

- What characterizes your style and how do you express it in your dress?

- My dressing reflects my mood every day, I really like this game in self-expression. In recent years, it has become more and more important that what I wear has a history, a timeless piece, I know its designer, I agree with the creed of the brand. I have fewer and fewer clothes, but what’s left, what I’ve newly acquired are ones that, at best, even my child will be able to wear because it won’t go out of style and ruin a season. I have one mania that doesn’t subside, though I’m trying to keep myself in check: I’m bag-addicted. In many cases, almost only the bag dresses.

- What is more important to you, comfortable or elegant, practical or stylish - do you have to choose between them at all?

- Stylish comfort and practicality are paramount in everyday life. I can’t stand a day, but maybe not an hour in a dress that squeezes what I have to fear, what I have to behave in. However, my dogs also have a big role to play in this, I usually start working with them and between hours of work it fits smoothly for an hour spent in the woods or a big walk on Gellért Hill. When I’m on a literary program, of course, I enjoy being able to dress up a bit, but I don’t give in on elegance either, it’s also very important there that the dress is easy to wear and comfortable.

- How did you get in touch with NON + and how was the encounter?

“An old Hadikos colleague and friend started working at NON + after the coffee house, so the meeting was a great pleasure. I visited her in the showroom where I also met Saci and I couldn’t get out of the clothes for hours, I wanted to try them all on. I can honestly say I may have never worn such comfortable clothes. I asked Saci why he cut into NON +, to which he replied that he had nowhere to find the comfortable clothes he wanted, so he did it for himself. When he said that, I knew I was in the best place.

- What is your most exciting project right now and what are you preparing for?

- In the quarantine, I decided to read Péter Nádas's novel Parallel Stories and I also thought that I would like to encourage others to do the same. So one the idea turned into a common reading, where we go through the story hundreds of pages a week and talk about it online every week in the company of a literary critic, esthete, writer. Thirteen weeks will determine my days with this story, it will be very difficult without it. I am preparing to close and culminate this, and for the first time this year I am also teaching at university, which is also a huge challenge and a great adventure. In October, we will hold the Margin Literary Festival and the literary programs of the Hadik have begun, and organizing them and preparing for the conversations will fill my days in the fall.