V4 diaries: Igor Vodraska

Jószef Attila Kör summer literary camp in Balatonszemes.

Today’s lesson on current writers of Central European region is to deal with reality that they are defacto first generation after transition/falling of Iron curtain. It is very wide topic in my opinion and today, at the workshop the question arose whether literature, or any form of art should be engaged in the politics, or in other words, what should be its relation to politics?
If simplified, there could be two approaches: first – rather engaged approach assuming every action taken on the field of literature should be considerd as, at some level – a political engagement.
This, amongs all raises questions about forms of financing the creative process and consequences which relate to the situation when art/literature voluntarily (or not) participates in institucializing itself because institution, from its nature cannot exist outside of public sector and therefore gets into direct relations with politics as a souce of power/organisation at some level.
Second approach is to consider literature as a form of art completely independent and rather not tied with politics at all. So its role is really percepted only in the terms of aeshetics, which doesn’t necesserily have to meet the values of whole society’s needs and therefore it might be considered less “important” in the optics of service to the public.
For myself, more important approach is the second one and I find the aesthetic values above the public interests, even though I am not trying to disregard the opposite.
I, as a part of generation which doesn’t have to live in totality, appreciate that art doesn’t need to be tied so much with politics or establishment but I find challenging at the same time that with plural democracy to stay objective and identify the problems within society is not less difficult than in dictatorship.

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