newspaper <>2/2002 < interview="" mit="" markus="" kóth="">
"You have to discuss texts"
Interview with Markus Kóth
Markus Kóth has been a lecturer at the Chair for Austrian Literature and Culture since September 2001. He is one of the editors-in-chief of the GeMa.
Markus, when did you come to Hungary?
To Szeged at the end of August 2001.
Have you been to Hungary before?
Oh, always since I can remember.
That's why you can speak Hungarian so well.
Well, yes, to some extent I can.
And why did you come to Hungary or to Szeged?
Szeged was actually a - well, yes, not a stopgap solution, but - I wanted to go to Budapest because I have acquaintances there, relatives, friends, fellow students, etc. And then it turned out that nothing was free in Budapest and that is how it is I came to Szeged, which I am very happy about.
I think the students all know that you work at the Chair of Austrian Literature and Culture, but what exactly is your specialty?
Austrian literature and regional studies.
Do you have a favorite area that is very close to you?
I am very fond of the smaller forms of literature, i.e. parodies, skits, cabaret and things like that, coffee house literature too. So not the big novels like by Musil or later Handke, but rather the smaller forms. And hardly anyone deals with that, and that's why it's very interesting.
Are you married?
I am a staunch bachelor, but in principle I would have nothing against a Hungarian girlfriend ...
What are your hobbies?
Books, films, motorcycles.
Do you also ride a motorcycle yourself?
I have three motorcycles.
I have too.
And what's better?
I prefer to ride my motorcycle, but the car is more comfortable and you can transport more.
Do you have a favorite book or author?
It's very difficult ... I could now list many: Jörg Mauthe, Fritz von Herzmanovski-Orlando, Ambrose Bierce, an American cynic, I like Umberto Eco very much, although his novels are getting worse and worse ...
Maybe someone in Hungarian literature?
Since you've always had a close relationship with Hungary, do you have any special Hungarian favorite foods or customs that you really like?
Well, yes, favorite food, Vadaspörkölt, something like that. But that's actually nothing strange to me, because I come from a border area, from a Hungarian-speaking village, 10 km from the Hungarian border, and I've actually always known Hungarian cuisine from an early age and, for example, Tyrolean or Carinthian cuisine much more foreign to me is than the Hungarian. As far as the manners and customs are concerned, there is really nothing that strikes me that much.
How is your relationship with your students?
I can only speak from my side, I think that's relatively good.
And what about your colleagues?
Oh, very good, even outside of university.
You've also been involved in the student newspaper project since you've been here. What is your personal opinion about it?
The thing is developing, it just keeps getting better. However, it still has to be steered within a certain framework so that it does not get out of hand. It should (or must) have a Germanic focus. What amazes me a little is that the students believe that if they deliver a text, that's the end of it. And that's just not true, texts have to be discussed. And that doesn't just apply to the newspaper seminar. The exchange is important between lecturers and students. This is something that the system of universities in Hungary may not have as such as e.g. B. in Germany or Austria, where there is real discussion in the seminars. I know that it is of course difficult to discuss in a foreign language, but there is a chance for students to express themselves in the foreign language, even if they make mistakes. The point is that they lose their shyness to speak and discuss in German. The students should think about that a little, should be a little more involved.
And what are your plans for the future?
Do my doctorate, which I am currently working on, and stay in Szeged until 2006.
Thank you for the interview!