Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kornél Esti and Haydn had one thing in common: he did not rail against his fate, he had the requisite sense of self-respect, but wasn't caught up with the question: Is the world fair? His Count was fair enough, insofar as such a thing can be posited of a count in the first place. Especially if we now add to all this the seventeenth century, and we're adding it. Esti's self-respect – and in this he differed from Haydn – did not feed on those gifts of his that elicit respect but, one might say, the other way around, Esti did not excel in anything, he was not dull and he was not clever, he was not especially good looking, but he was not homely either. Just one example: a carbuncle kept growing on his neck, one wouldn't have liked to touch it; on the other hand, despite his adolescent years, his face was as bright and shiny as – let me see now – a mountain lake.

Talent was not among the gifts bestowed on him by the Lord. But – a rare thing! – he could feel his life. He began his days with the confidence that comes from trusting in an easy existence – his humble chores in the downstairs kitchen. This existence had its own brightness for him, and honor; greatness, majesty not really, but fairness, definitely. Which means that the cheerful serenity, an offshoot of self-respect, was simply rooted in the circumstance that Kornél Esti was: Kornél Esti.

Wood s Lot quotes Péter Esterházy.  Linking to Asymptote Journal.  (I want a life like Wood s Lot.) The rest here.

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