The great Hungarian poet György Faludy recounts in his autobiography, My Happy Days in Hell (1962), that, while imprisoned in the Soviet labor camp in Recsk between 1949 and 1952, he gave seminars in the evenings to his fellow inmates on history, literature, and philosophy, quoting the primary texts from memory. One day, one of his auditors, Joska Borostobi, explained that he no longer wished to participate in the discussions: “Last night, while you were talking about the Platonic ideas, I suddenly realized that I had lost interest in intellectual matters. . . . I think that in the future I shall sleep more and think less. I shall live the life of the algae.” Exactly one week later, Borostobi collapsed and died. Faludy, however, survived not only the camp but also all those who had tried to kill him. He himself died, his intellect perfectly intact, in 2006, three weeks...

 

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