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Accepted Paper:

"Ernő Szép is the thrush of lovers." A Budapest story from 1946 about the absence of birds  
Gergely Loch (Liszt Academy of Music)

Paper short abstract:

Margaret Island (Budapest, Hungary) fell silent after its birds had been driven away by the environmental devastation of World War II. I present how and why Ernő Szép (1884-1953), one of the foremost literary figures of interwar Hungary pursued a one-man activity of reverse-silencing in 1946.

Paper long abstract:

Margaret Island is a major island and public park of Budapest on the Danube, an area noted for an abundance of birds that is striking given the proximity of the crowded city center. In the winter of 1944-45, during the siege of Budapest, the island was turned into a battle-ground. The environmental devastation drove away the birds, making the area silent for the following springs. In the spring of 1946, Ernő Szép (1884-1953), one of the most significant literary figures of interwar Hungary and a long-time resident of Margaret Island, started a one-man activity of reverse-silencing. By talking about this activity and its historical background, I present some of the ways in which the fate of birds is connected with the fate of humans - in this particular case, the personal fate of Ernő Szép and the history of Hungary in the first half of the 20th century.

Panel Exti08a
Perceiving Silencing and Strategies of Reverse Silencing I
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 March, 2021, -