A poet has no private life to speak of. He uses his feelings, which then, like acids, release meanings from his own and from others’ bodies, filtering out the essential materials from which he creates his poems, volatile non-existent objects. And then from all of that, something that reminds one of life.
The most primal principle of life is theatrical: the jellyfish in the fairylike-fatal underworld of the sea, the coconut periwigs in the Gothic fan-towers of palms, the fetid head of an embryo at the end of the umbilical cord, jasmine, horseradish, sicknesses: these are all theatrical, colorful, simulating and subterfuges. Not lies, just masks, mimics. That is what history is too; that is the darkest instinct of life. That and art. The darkest and also the loneliest.
In 1958, somebody - the name is unimportant - his face beaming, tells his wife that it says in the newspaper Jóska Gáli has been sentenced to death, that is the József Gáli who was later to make a name for himself as a translator, whom his friend had last seen fourteen years before, when they were being herded into railroad trucks. The wife asks why he is so happy that Jóska Gáli has been sentenced to death. Answer: because that means he is alive!