Tünde Mészáros, a translator into Hungarian, lives in Budapest. She has translated the books of Veronika Šikulová, Pavol Rankov, Ondrej Štefánik, Daniela Kapitáňová and others. Last year, when Tünde Mészáros was a resident in Banská Štiavnica for the first time, we interviewed her about the project she was working on at the time (Nedeľné šachy s Tisom). You can read the interview here.
Between 16 February and 15 March 2021, she has been translating another book by Silvester Lavrík: Posledná barónka (The Last Baroness). Here is her journal entry from this year's residency:
It's great to get a residency. And it's even more great to get the residency in Banská Štiavnica. But what does a residency mean, actually. It means that one packs her bags and if they're not sufficient, one adds plastic and paper bags – to be chic and elegant is above all else –, one also doesn't forget her laptop, her extra laptop and her anatomical pillow to suit her poor neck. Once in the car, one finds out that the heating is broken and the window doesn't roll down. At the border, one lets a nice lady in a spacesuit clean her right nostril and with a positive mood and a negative text message in her phone, one continues her journey. Oh, the heating is working. And later, so is the heating in the apartment below the black sun and the old castle. Should it not be enough, a liquid, warming gift left and pre-tasted by the previous resident awaits – I'm much obliged.
After that, 30 days of text-text-text – town – text-text. Snowman – short sleeves – minus-7C-at-night. The-man-from-the-corner-deli – carrots – potato chips – chocolate – text-text-text.
More specifically and almost at all times Posledná k&k barónka by Silvester Lavrík. I'm trying to find the way, the words, the language. The language doesn't give in too easily, not to whomever tries to touch it up. So I'm still just feeling my way around. But it's OK, there's time until next year for the baroness to come out. Come out as a book, I mean.
I don't know about the rest of the text people but I rarely have only one text on my hands. Well, it does happen but only when I'm forced by a date, a deadline, határidő as a sales person in the deli seven minutes before closing, over a just-mopped floor. So this time, too, I have dabbled into this and that, lyrical, epical, vaccination. For my mother.
Sometimes, some things get finished, too. Last year has all ben covid-ed up so some things have been postponed. They are waiting in line, quietly: finished, finished, almost finished, soon to be finished. Balko, Forró, Kucbelová, Lavrík. Not that Lavrík, the other one.
And then readers. There could be readers. There could be more of them since both the partisan-activists and the supporting institutions are all activated to bring them literature from their neighbors.
Read your neighbors. And stay awake, people, get vaccinated.
The car window has been fixed. In the car service tucked between the hills above the refreshments stand U Paľa. And I'm leaving behind a bottle of Carpathian wine, still unfinished. Add a red primrose found underneath the castle stairs. Petrklíč, primula, kankalin.
Tünde Mészáros, March 9th, 2021, Banská Štiavnica