Summer in the Distance

Already summer plans are starting to form. When I’m in the thick of winter, I know that summer will be here too soon. Before that, the spring, with the Pilinszky event, the Shakespeare festival, and all kinds of other things. But assuming all goes well and no big changes occur, I already know the basics.

First, after the end of the school year, I will attend the full Fishing on Orfű festival. That will be my one festival of the summer; I will probably attend individual concerts in addition, but that’s it, since I need time for travel and projects. The Fishing on Orfű lineup is spectacular; according to the current lineup, all my favorite Hungarian bands are playing (except for Dávid Szesztay and Kolibri—but who knows, maybe they will be added later). I intend to explore and hear unfamiliar music too. It will be great to be out in the hills, by the lake, taking walks early in the morning as I did last year and biking around the area.

Then after that comes a trip to the U.S.—to visit family, go to NYC for a few days, and maybe hold an event there, if I can manage to arrange it. Visit BJ, see friends, deal with things in my storage space. If all works out, that entire trip will be approximately from July 5-18.

Then a solid month of working on projects: writing, translating, music. In the second half of August, thoughts start to turn toward the school year, but there’s still some vacation left.

A brief interlude, but a rich one, even in the imagination.

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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

  • Always Different

  • Pilinszky Event (3/20/2022)



    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 April 2022, Deep Vellum published 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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