Medicine for the Soul (inscription at Library of Thebes)
To develop personality and improve quality of life
Bibliotherapy is a quite old concept in library science; the ancient societies were convinced that literature was psychologically and spiritually important.
The concept is based on the idea that you can use reading as an ameliorative adjunct to different therapies.
The tradition is maintained and continued, fortunately.
The literary events are held in Hungarian and there is no translation because of the kind of the programme; it is a semi-formal series with the participants' questions, comments and discussions.
If you participate in the programmes of the series with an open-hearted attitude, you can use literature to have a look at your real thoughts and feelings, your inner world and its hidden corners.
The programmes are held by Ildikó Sóron, librarian and bibliotherapist, in Hungarian.
In autumn, the first occasion of the series highlighted the life of a tree and man’s life – regarding similarity.
In September we were pondering over the wonder of life considering the thoughts by Lao-ce about the nature of trees and the essay written by Béla Hamvas.
Is there any similarity between the tree and a man?
Is there anything common in them?
Is it true that the tree is manlike in a way? That is why we love it, don’t we?
Tree has an unceasing contact with its nutriment. Its growth is unceasing. Trees are nourished by the earth. They ingest the earth, reaching even more deeply into its soil. Yet the tree (as such) is no parasite.
And what about men?
A brief retrospection:
Sleepers’ running by Magda Szabó
How can you get over the loss of your partner and change - to live a life of your own with or without difficulties… Well, it is not so simple…
It was really worth discussing…
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Men improve with the years (poetic work by W. B. Yeats)
Yeats was one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, appreciated both in Ireland and all over the world.
The programme focused on one of author’s poems as a take-off -- changes and passing that are inevitable in this world.
The special world of images and symbols applied by Yeats in his works has much in store to speak about…
A great related site
Do we know where the limit is? What is enough?
How Much Land Does a Man Need?
On the first week of February the programme of the series is based on the short story by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. The main character of the story is a man who, in his lust for land, damages his own life.
What do you think is enough for us?
How much money do we want to possess? And how much food?
How much fame do we want to have? And how much faith and love… …and honour?
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Adventures in the exciting world of irrationality (absurdity) through Örkény's stories
The mirror and the mask by Jorge Luis Borges
April was the month of poetry in Hungary, so we – the participants of the bibliotherapeutic program in the Central Library – celebrated the richness of Hungarian poetry by focusing on a masterpiece entitled Consciousness written by Attila József, the famous poet whose birthday is celebrated on 11th April (every year).
In a sense it is considered as a summary of the poet’s life, a life experienced as a „series of dead-ends”.
You may interpret the poem as a great example of speculative poetry which expresses the dissonant state of the world in an intricate manner.
Consciousness is often mentioned as a „poem-symphony”.
It is one of the most complex works by Attila József as far as its world is concerned regarding the thoughts in the poem.
Reading it you can think about fundamental questions of living, ultimate issues concerning existence; we have the opportunity and the intention to seek and find answers related to the meaning of life.
See some of the author's poems
A special site related to the poet
What happens if someone always tells his/her own truth without any compromise?
Based on the works of Endre Fejes, participants read and spoke about the „hard situation” when a man was not ready to be indulgent (even a little).
What happens if there is a man who is not willing to make a concession? How can that man live in a modern society and how can we deal with such a person who is uncompromising at all points, in all circumstances; how can we handle the situation?
The conversation was quite thought-provoking, participants could draw a lesson from it.
Last occasion before summer holiday:
The poem The Shell by Sándor Reményik describes a more beautiful world; the author speaks about a better world than the one we are living in. Does it really exist? Who can get to it and how?
How can you reach to be a level-headed person in your inner world – men of poise who can live in peace with their surroundings (and natural environment).
Is it true that life is a great travel?
The poet does not give answers, he just raises the issues to think about…