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Ági Szabados Does Not Want To Apologize To Me

Ági Szabados Does Not Want To Apologize To Me

2023-10-03 01:03:59

So, on the opening ceremonies of the Budapest Worldwide Guide Pageant this yr, a few folks gave prefatory remarks earlier than I obtained the Budapest Grand Prize and took part in my very own comparatively transient query and reply interval. One in all them was actor Ervin Nagy; the opposite was Ági Szabados, who’s a newscaster and bookseller who runs a nationwide e book membership in Hungary (assume alongside the traces of the Oprah Guide Membership or the Reese Witherspoon e book membership). On the time of the occasion, I listened to her remarks (through a translator) and thought them completely uncontroversial; amongst different issues she talked in regards to the significance of studying, which is, fairly clearly, one thing I agree with.

Apparently I used to be one of many few who discovered the remarks uncontroversial, as a result of shortly thereafter Ms. Szabados was sharply criticized for her remarks within the press and on-line, and was accused, roughly, of creating her speech about herself and never about me, who was the putative topic beneath dialogue. This prompted sufficient of an uproar in Hungary that Ms. Szabados felt obliged to offer an apology for her speech, and specifically famous that she hoped that I had not been offended.

With that as preamble, and with the additional notation that nobody in Hungary, and positively not Ms. Szabados, has requested me to say something about this or, certainly, even is aware of that I’m about to say something about this:

People, I used to be not offended on the time, nor am I offended now. And whereas I admire that Ms. Szabados has supplied an apology typically, and in addition to me particularly, in my specific case, I don’t assume an apology was wanted. Once more, I discovered nothing objectionable in her feedback to the opening ceremony viewers. I suppose she might have talked about me extra, however then, I was there to speak about me, and did, for about 20 minutes on the opening ceremony, after which for over an hour at my very own highlight occasion two days later. I dare say that nobody who attended the e book pageant got here away missing data on the subject of John Scalzi. I guarantee you, I’m superb at speaking about me. Ask actually anybody who has ever met me.

Ms. Szabados in any other case talked about studying, and the significance of taking the time to learn, and, properly, I’ve no downside with that. As I perceive it, the identify of her e book membership interprets in English to “No Time To Learn,” and the title of the e book membership fairly places a degree on the matter: Persons are usually of the opinion that they don’t have time. To the extent that Ms. Szabados encourages folks to search out the time to learn, I admire her efforts. And the truth that she selected the Hungarian translation of Outdated Man’s Struggle as her membership’s September learn, upfront of my arrival on the e book pageant, was of precise profit to me: She launched me and my work to a complete bunch of readers who won’t in any other case have ever checked out my novel. This isn’t simply supposition; a number of folks on the pageant who got here to see me instructed me that her e book membership was how they discovered about me. A few of them have been clutching copies of different books of mine as they did so.

Which is to say that from my perspective, lengthy earlier than Ms. Szabados stepped onto the stage final Thursday, she had already completed extra to introduce me to new readers in Hungary, and to spur dialog about my work, than virtually another single particular person in within the nation, wanting my precise writer, and the organizers of the e book pageant. So not solely does she don’t have anything to apologize to me for, on the finish of the day the emotion I most really feel concerning Ms. Szabados is: gratitude. She did an excellent factor for me, and the introduction she made on the opening ceremonies — the place she talked in regards to the e book membership that launched me to many readers! — was solely the smallest a part of all of that.

Now, I understand that there’s most likely extra happening right here. I’m not aware of all of the social undercurrents in Hungary that movement beneath this specific story. I can solely touch upon what I do know and my very own perspective on it as an outsider. Moreover, I don’t know Ms. Szabados in any significant manner; we have been launched briefly previous to the opening ceremonies, and noticed one another once more a pair days later, the place once more we chatted briefly and took an image earlier than we each went to do our respective issues. Within the very transient time I had along with her, she appeared beautiful. I used to be glad to fulfill her.

So, please. Individuals of Hungary, in case you are offended or irritated at Ms. Szabados on my behalf, thanks, however don’t be. Don’t tackle a burden that I personally don’t carry. I admire what Ms. Szabados did for me, on the pageant and earlier than it. No apology is important for any of it. To not me, and, might I recommend, to not anybody else.

— JS

(Photograph of Ms. Szabados taken from here)

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