Back in the World

Tonight young people are hanging out along the Tisza, as in the old days, playing their boomtubes, and restaurants, cinemas, concert halls, and other places are open. I went to the Tisza Mozi to see the film Spirál (the Hungarian/Romanian film directed by Cecília Felméri and starring Diána Magdolna Kiss, Bogdan Dumitrache, and Alexandra Borbély. I found the film beautiful and strange, a dance of life and death. The actors were outstanding, particularly Dumitrache, and the cinematography dreamy and colorful. The music, composed by Ádám Balázs, made me stay past the end of the credits. I would go see it again.

I was the only person watching this particular screening. It had been a long time since a film was shown in that room. There was a little technical problem at the beginning, but the Tisza Mozi staff worked to resolve it quickly, and apologized to me after the film. No apology was needed. I was so happy to see it and to be back in the world.

Upon leaving, I walked through the terrace, where I ran into a colleague and said hello. The terrace was filled with people. It brought back memories of Marcell Bajnai’s concert back in August. Speaking of which, there’s a great video of one of the songs from that concert, “Kopog a szív.”

To be admitted indoors to the places that reopened today, you have to show proof of immunity or vaccination. This is controversial for numerous reasons (some people don’t want a vaccine, some have been but haven’t received their card yet, some want a vaccine but haven’t been able to get an appointment, some want a particular vaccine that hasn’t been made available to them, etc.). I hope the rules will soon relax so that these places will be open to all. With any necessary precautions, but without distinctions. Then we can celebrate with full heart.

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  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

    —Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

  • TEDx Talk

    Delivered at TEDx Upper West Side, April 26, 2016.



    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In February 2022, Deep Vellum will publish her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.


    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.


    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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