Anita Harag

Anita Harag

Budapest, Ungarn

Zu Gast im LCB:
Oktober 2020

Anita Harag, 1988 geboren, wurde in Ungarn für ihre Erzählungen mit dem György Petri Preis und dem Péter Horváth Stipendium ausgezeichnet. Ihr Buchdebut erschien im 2019 im Magvetö Verlag. Mit freundlicher Unterstützung des Auswärtigen Amts.

Anita Harag © privat

»I imagine that I’m a German girl who lives in Wannsee and I have a name like Elke for example, or Lena, or Inge.«

What are you working on at the moment?
I have started to write my second short story collection. Short fiction is the best genre for me to try new perspectives and structures, it gives me freedom. In my first book the narrators of the stories were observers, they are looking at their relationships, their situation from a distance, and it makes the situation quite unique. They are watching themselves as they would watch a movie on Netflix. Now in my new stories I’d like to reflect on the dark side of observation. What happens if the narrator is focused too much on other people and other people’s opinion and how we all can be lost in the eyes of the others.

How does your stay in the Literary Colloquium Berlin affect you and your work?
It is great to have a distance from my everyday routine and habits, because I could start to have new everyday routine with writing in the centre. It is wonderful that I can focus only on my stories. In Hungary I have a full-time job and it was hard to find time to start my second book. I could not sit down and write as much as I wanted, and here at LCB I can sit down and write those stories which were in my mind in the last couple of months. Moreover, LCB is such an inspirational place and it has a really unique atmosphere.
Also I have a little game here. I imagine that I’m a German girl who lives in Wannsee and I have a name like Elke for example, or Lena, or Inge. I’m imagining what this German girl loves to do, she became somehow my alterego who loves Leibniz chocolate and swims in the Wannsee lake in summer.

What experiences will you take home?
For me LCB is like an island and sometimes it made me forget this frustrating and scary time. Before the lockdown I had the opportunity to visit Berlinische Galerie and I loved the „Drawing the city” exhibition where the paintings show the unique Berlin experiences of artists from all around the world. My Berlin map was so tiny upon my arrival, but it became larger, wider and more outlined by the time. It was exciting to explore more and more from Berlin. However, my most outlined part is Wannsee and the lake. LCB became more and more like home even in one month. I go to the beach and look at the water every day. My most loved experience I will take home is gonna be this sitting on the beach and looking at the water.

The interview took place in November 2020.

Anita Harag im LCB, November 2020 © LCB