( Lupeni )
He Who Guards the Cradle and the Owl
The memory of a writer should not be preserved only by commemorating the anniversaries related to his life, by reading his works and learning some quotations, but also by visiting his memorial house without a concrete reason, talking to those of his relatives and acquaintances, who are still alive. This is how we ended up visiting the house of writer Áron Tamási, spending a pleasant afternoon listening to the stories of uncle Mátyás, the current caretaker of the house.
The Dearest House of them All
Mátyás Sipos – known by the locals as uncle Matyi or Mátyás, has been taking care of the house of Tamási since 1972, the year the building was declared a museum. Since the death of his mother, aunt Erzsi, in 2006, he has been dealing with visitors as well, telling stories, explaining, answering patiently and with concrete details to every question. His work is well-founded, and – as we will see later on – it includes everything related to the writer. “I have built one hundred and twenty-eight houses, but it has no importance” – he says, whisking his hand, but one can tell, that he is proud of it. The house is still in a good condition today, thanks to him, however, there is a lot to do, but no real funds are available. He just fixed the door, fixing new boards, and he also changed the shingle on the roof of the entrance, because “it was quite frail”. As he talks to us, it gets quite clear that he does not do this for his own glory or for money – practically he gets none –, but simply for the fact, that he feels it is his duty towards his uncle and his spiritual greatness.
Day and Night in the Writer`s Service
Our conversation was fragmented, as smaller and larger groups of tourists were alternating on the spot, and he had to deal with them. There is no continent on earth that visitors have not come from. There are also some returning guests, who still remember uncle Gáspár, the brother of the writer, or aunt Erzsi, his sister, who had been in charge of the house before uncle Mátyás. There is also youth coming to visit the house, and one of them is looking for his student card. “There is no need for that, we believe even the ninety years old, if they say that they are students” – he invites them in uncle Mátyás, to tell once more the story of his renown uncle and his house, using a slightly different vocabulary, than in the case of the earlier group. He has a recording on DVD, with the voice of the writer itself, talking about his childhood, but he completes it with his own memories, and stories on the homecoming visits of the writer. He presents the exhibited pictures and manuscripts with such an affection, that probably no one would manage to do, when he will not be here anymore. “We need someone, who lives nearby” – he answers, when we ask him, who will be his successor. He is a little bit sad, seeing that less and less people from the village consider it important to preserve and take care of the memory of the writer. “Here we have no schedule, cannot do it. If someone comes, no matter who and from where, you have to come and you have to present everything. That is why this job would need someone who lives nearby, but…” He ends his sentence with a resigned whisk.
Nóbel Kudelász. Udvarhelyi Híradó, July 27. 2007.