Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Citizenship is Forever Lost

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Last night we met as normal. Levante stood cloaked in an overcoat, leaning on the Anonymous Statue. We waited briefly before Keraly, Sandor, and Mitvoszh arrived. No one of us uses names; none of us bring pens. Our tasks are too valuable to risk in any way but by memory, and when a time comes that one does not arrive, their presense remain in memory as well. That was how it was.

It seemed only appropriate to meet by the anonymous statue whose artist, date of construction, commissioner, and meaning were all anonymous. The only know fact was its location in the corner of the Szchenie Park near the heroes' square in Pest.

Gather, we walked to a safe place, a friend's cafe that had an underground room whose staircase was hidden by the floor panels. Here we exchanged information.

Lev provided information about the new laws the Commisar was passing affecting travel across the Chain Bridge and it would affect the way we distributed information. We met mostly to exchange mathmatical proofs and theories which we could no longer openly study at the Universitie where our offices were, but that no students could attend due to the chains on the gates.

Lev worked with the commisar to develop math for industrial projects. New buildings, factories, bridges all needed a mathmatician to make them stable. Lev was never asked to take his important job, and arguing over his tasks is not a though to even ponder. He produces the way the Trufalut factory produces automobiles: effectively with no questions asked. It was for the good of the highest order, the people.

The rest of us had seemingly mundane careers, if you could call them such. But the real career happened once a month like this, furthering our knowledge together for our own selfish motives that the regime could easily take away if we were discovered or if a neigbor learned of our studies. No proof could be done by paper, first for fear of discovery, but also the amount of paper we would use would draw suspision if we explained all the letters to family we write. But with time the practice became a custom, and a pint of Dreher would loosen the mind enough the forget the regime and practice the life we missed of challenging theorms in the Three Ravens Cafe.

Time standing still never happened though. Fifty five minutes was about all we could afford so we worked quickly to memorize what we continue to study till next month when result brough certain fame among friends, and certain scrutinies over accuracy. But Lev suggested groups like ours were being discovered, and penalties for operating independant of the Commisar's approval would bring ultimatums too risky for our families, yet no one worried about my head the way Imka, Lev's wife, worried about his.
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Good friends, I bring you greetings from Budapest. I am exploring the many former commmnuist struggles and the amazingly rich history of literature here. I got drunk in the castle cellar on hungarian wine to bring true poetic honor to the Drunk Poets. I heard this story the other night in a cafe over an Unicum and later some absynthe (which is very bad, very bad, but good if you are a drunk poet). This statue exists and it is said that intellectuals met to meet over politics and literature and science depending on the circle against the will of the Soviet puppet govener.

Three Ravens no longer exists, but was once a hub of intellectualism and is now honored byt the presence of Cafe Ekermann by a plaque, painting and several photos. It was more literary than the others, but the regime closed the cafes in order to avoid people meeting in such manners. It is unlikely many were able to without severe consequences.

The literature here is difficult to imagine, for many of the heroic writers here wer killed in battle or martyered or something of the like. but it is a truly amazing story, when some bits may be pieced together.

May peace and the love and liberty in knowledge keep you these days and always.
Hadji

2 Comments:

Blogger mer said...

Matt, thanks for sharing. These moments are why we live to write (or the other way around). I'm a bit jealous! Enjoy the rest of your travels.

12:19 AM | Permalink  
Blogger One Drunken Poet said...

SWEET... I like this. We should throw stuff up like this more-

DPS
ONE DRUNKEN POET

11:14 PM | Permalink  

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