I have little time for notions of repression and sublimation, for symbols of the unconscious or the subconscious. I have no wish to be autopsied while I am still alive. Let what I am remain private, whole, and mysterious. Let it continue to yield sufferings and joys uncomprehended. And when I die may it all be destroyed, like an unopened letter.
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.
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!