Zitate von Imre Kertész

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Imre Kertész

Geburtstag: 9. November 1929

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Imre Kertész [ˈimrɛ ˈkɛrte:s] war ein ungarischer Schriftsteller jüdischer Abstammung. Er erhielt 2002 den Nobelpreis für Literatur.

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„He himself had said near enough exactly what was in the play.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: He himself had said near enough exactly what was in the play. The only snag was that by the time that scene was played out in reality, almost word for word, the person who had written the play, and that scene in it, was no longer alive. He had committed suicide.

„Logos, the invisible spider’s thread that holds our lives together.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: But I believe in writing — nothing else; just writing. Man may live like a worm, but he writes like a god. There was a time when that secret was known, but now it has been forgotten; the world is composed of disintegrating fragments, an incoherent dark chaos, sustained by writing alone. If you have a concept of the world, if you have not yet forgotten all that has happened, that you have a world at all, it is writing that has created that for you, and ceaselessly goes on creating it; Logos, the invisible spider’s thread that holds our lives together.

„It only has to be accepted temporarily — temporarily, but every day afresh. And every day ever more. Temporarily. Until we have lived to the end of our temporary lives, and one fine day we temporarily die.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: "You mustn’t forget about your future, Enrique." "I’m living for the present, Dad." "Ah!" he waved that aside. "The present is just temporary." ‘ I boiled up. "I know," I burst out. ‘It only has to be accepted temporarily — temporarily, but every day afresh. And every day ever more. Temporarily. Until we have lived to the end of our temporary lives, and one fine day we temporarily die. p. 66.

„Kingbitter undoubtedly could see solutions to hand, both better ones and worse; indeed, if he reflected more deeply, solutions were all he could see, rather than lives.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: Thereafter, the scenes had succeeded one another, turn and turn about, in the drama as in reality, to the point that, in the end, Kingbitter did not know what to admire more: the author's-his dead friend's-crystal-clear foresight or his own, so to say, remorseful determination to identify with his prescribed role and stick to the story. Nowadays, though, with the lapse of nine years, Kingbitter was interested in something else. His story had reached an end, but he himself was still here, posing a problem for which he more and more put off finding a solution. He would either have to carry on his story, which had proved impossible, or else start a new story, which had proved equally impossible. Kingbitter undoubtedly could see solutions to hand, both better ones and worse; indeed, if he reflected more deeply, solutions were all he could see, rather than lives.

„Giving state support to literature is the state's sneaky way for the state liquidation of literature.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: The state is always the same. The only reason it financed literature up till now was in order to liquidate it. Giving state support to literature is the state's sneaky way for the state liquidation of literature.

„Only from our stories can we discover that our stories have come to an end“

— Imre Kertész
Context: Only from our stories can we discover that our stories have come to an end, otherwise we would go on living as if there were still something for us to continue (our stories, for example); that is, we would go on living in error.

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„For Kingbitter the Hamlet question did not run “To be or not to be?” but “Am I or am I not?”“

— Imre Kertész
Context: For Kingbitter the Hamlet question did not run “To be or not to be?” but “Am I or am I not?”.

„Man may live like a worm, but he writes like a god. There was a time when that secret was known, but now it has been forgotten; the world is composed of disintegrating fragments, an incoherent dark chaos, sustained by writing alone.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: But I believe in writing — nothing else; just writing. Man may live like a worm, but he writes like a god. There was a time when that secret was known, but now it has been forgotten; the world is composed of disintegrating fragments, an incoherent dark chaos, sustained by writing alone. If you have a concept of the world, if you have not yet forgotten all that has happened, that you have a world at all, it is writing that has created that for you, and ceaselessly goes on creating it; Logos, the invisible spider’s thread that holds our lives together.

„I am as much or as little accomplice to my staying alive as I was to my birth.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: I am still here, although I don’t know why; accidentally, I guess, as I was born; I am as much or as little accomplice to my staying alive as I was to my birth.

„The régime was overthrown, and I'm not going to pretend it was me who overthrew it.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: The régime was overthrown, and I'm not going to pretend it was me who overthrew it. A general liquidation is in full swing, and I'm not going to join in. I've become a spectator. And I'm not even spectating from the front rows in the stalls but from somewhere up in the gods. Maybe I'm worn out, but it could be that I never truly believed in what I believed. That would be the unseemlier alternative, because then they would have smashed my ear in for no reason at all. That is the assumption I'm inclining to these days. (He breaks off and ponders, book in hand.) I did time for no reason, dragged the millstone of a police record around for no reason, was on probation for years for no reason, and I'm no hero, I merely botched up my life.

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„Once you have started, the only way back is to go forward.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: There was truth in Diaz’s logic, yes: our line of work is like that. Once you have started, the only way back is to go forward. p. 91.

„What we usually mean by fate is what we least understand, that is to say, ourselves“

— Imre Kertész
Context: What we usually mean by fate is what we least understand, that is to say, ourselves, that subversive, unknown individual constantly plotting against us, whom, estranged and alienated but still bowing with disgust before his might, we call, for the of simplicity, fate.

„To live and to write, it's all the same, both together, for the pen is my spade“

— Imre Kertész
Context: To live and to write, it's all the same, both together, for the pen is my spade; when I look ahead I only look back, when I stare at the paper I only see the past: she crossed that bluish green carpet as if she were crossing the sea because she wanted to talk to me, for she found out that I was "B.", author and literary translator, one of whose "works" had read, and which she definitely wanted to discuss with me, she said, and we talked and talked until we talked ourselves into bed — Good God! — and continued to talk even then, uninterrupted.

„Survivors represent a separate species, just like an animal species.“

— Imre Kertész
Context: Survivors represent a separate species, just like an animal species. We are all survivors, that is what determines our perverse and degenerate mental world. Auschwitz.

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