“Putting the ego to where it belongs is the main challenge for a writer”



Tutors of the Literary and Arts weekend (May 19-21) – brilliant young professionals in their field. For you to get to know our tutors better (and to choose the workshop to apply for) we'll be posting short interviews with each of them.

Meet Ákos Szolcsányi, a Hungarian writer and a poet, based in Germany, co-founder of the Berlin Writers' Guild, and a co-host of the memoir writing workshop (with Sabrina Small). Ákos's writing piece “Balcony for Rent”, so beautifully experimental, features issue 10 of Panel (to be out in the end of February).

What do you personally consider your main professional achievement?

In 2007, a study of mine about the heterogeneous plural morphem in Hungarian was published in the review Nyelvor. It became a must read at a seminar about descriptive linguistics in 2008, before I would graduate from university. The really punk thing to do would have been to take the seminar and flunk at – among others' – my own study (which is not as unlikely as it seems, given that I can hardly understand what I had written back then.)

Is there anything in your career that you would have done differently if you could?

I would have worried way less about the level of appreciation my stuff gets and cared way more about having fun while writing. My “career” followed the rule that the more you achieve, the emptier you feel – so it was a game where the real game was not about winning or losing but quitting, the sooner the better.

What, in your opinion, is the main (professional or other) challenge for a writer\artist?

Putting their ego to where it belongs. The challenge lies in not having any idea where it belongs.

Why, do you think, writers and artists benefit from being in each other's company (like they will be during our workshop)?

It can contribute in great ways to the texts appearing as the abstract mass of made up linguistic signs which they are and the writers appearing to each other as the (by and large) normal people that we are.

If you could live the best day of your life, what would this best day be like?

A proportionate mix of being alone, with family and friends. I'd say a ratio of 3:2:1, so 12, 8 and 4 hours, respectively.


Apply for the “Facing ourselves: memoir writing with Sabrina Small and Ákos Szolcsányi" here.

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