István Darkó Legacy – Péter Egyed Private Collection
The István Darkó Legacy – Péter Egyed Private Collection, beside the documentary material of unconventional childhood activity and the sole appreciable Transylvanian Hungarian radio play of the Romanian communist regime, contains writings that – in form of fantastic stories, evading the censorship of the time – made possible the representation of an “Other“ world completely different from the Party ideology.
Cluj-Napoca 7, Romania 400000
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Name of collection
István Darkó Legacy – Péter Egyed Private Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The creation and preservation of the Darkó István Legacy – Péter Egyed Private Collection is the work of a number of persons. The collection contains written, photo and voice records of the career of the writer and actor István Darkó, who died in 1982 at the age of 28. Materials directly linked to him come primarily from his high school and university years. His interests were unconventional. In 1970 he wrote a home-made paper entitled Bendzin. In the “capitalist-landlord system,” in the “age of the happy bourgeoisie,” children went somewhere, where they stayed together, spent their vacation together, and wrote such papers to have fun together. This was the expression of a certain culture and age, when such an enterprise was interesting. Children living in the world of imagination and fantasy provided only one example and the making of the paper was much more important than its reading and spreading. To this era belongs also a comic-experiment, the characters, stories and myths of which served as material for the radio play Macskarádió (Cat radio), which he had already started writing. The radio play grew during his university years, and became known in both Cluj and Târgu Mureș. It was recorded on tape with very primitive equipment, but in spite of the struggle to produce quality sound, it is considered today the sole appreciable Hungarian radio play from communist Romania. The materials directly linked to Darkó also include his university notes and textbooks from the period 1974–1978, which were taken by the novice actor to reading tests; he learned their content before the mirror in the mornings. During his university years Darkó became accustomed to acting. He commonly took part in big year-end performances presented by the students themselves, but there were also occasional performances and gigs and he took part in various tours. The collection contains official documents reflecting the progress of his career: his university degree, employment documents, and the handwritten notes of his book A következő pillanatban: Fantasztikus történetek (In the next moment: Fantastic stories) published in 1981 at the Kriterion Publishing House.
In the creation of the collection as we now know it, beyond all doubt a major role was played by István Darkó's mother, the artist Edit Timkó, diva of the opera of Cluj, who after the death of her son collected not only materials directly linked to him but also newspaper articles referring to his writing work, acting activities and career. Keeping an especially austere lifestyle, Timkó, in 2008, gave instructions that after her death the material collected about István Darkó and kept in her custody for twenty-six years should be handed over to a good friend of her son’s, the philosopher Péter Egyed. According to her wish the collection was in Egyed’s custody between 2008 and 2018. A listener to Macskarádió (Cat radio) and the editor of the Forrás volume of 1981, he was the most initiated in Darkó's works, which he republished in 2007, under the title A következő pillanatban – Macskarádió (In the next moment – Cat radio).
Description of content
The István Darkó Legacy – Péter Egyed Private Collection contains written, voice and photo records of Darkó's career. The material directly linked to him comes primarily from his high-school and university years. The issues of the home-made paper Bendzin which he wrote starting in 1970, and the comic-experiment Utazás a világ körül (Journey around the world) can be found here, as can the two original voice tapes of Macskarádió (Cat radio), inspired by the characters and stories of the home-made paper and the comic. The materials directly linked to Darkó include also his university notes and text books from between 1974 and 1978, together with various typescripts, handwritten notebooks, notes and "clarifications," as he loved to write down expressions and their synonyms. The collection includes the official documents of Darkó's career: his university degree, employment documents and his contract with the Kriterion Publishing House. There are also newspaper articles praising his book A következő pillanatban: Fantasztikus történetek (In the next moment: Fantastic stories), obituaries written about him by Péter Egyed and Géza Szőcs and other writings from contemporary publications of Utunk (Our way), Fellegvár (Citadel), Ifjúmunkás (Young worker), Echinox (Equinox) and A Hét (The week), together with newspaper clippings describing his professional work and productions in which he acted, in particular materials from the cultural magazine Film Színház Muzsika (Movie theatre music) and the socio-cultural magazine Új Élet (New life). There is also a photo collection with about 100 pieces made in the style of contemporary photographers about the most important moments of his life, and nineteen small-size East-German ORWO tapes, containing original sound recordings, primarily of progressive rock.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 10-99
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 100-499
- music recordings: 10-99
- photos: 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 0-9
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 0-9
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
- Darkó, István. 2007. A következő pillanatban – Macskarádió (In the next moment – Cat Radio). Edited by Péter Egyed. Kolozsvár: Kriterion Könyvkiadó.
Author(s) of this page
- Jánosi, Csongor
Arhiva Consiliului Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității (Archive of the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives), Fond Informativ (Informative Fonds): Microfilm 106481 MS, roll 740.
Darkó, István. 2007. A következő pillanatban – Macskarádió (In the Next Moment – Cat Radio). Edited by Péter Egyed. Kolozsvár: Kriterion Könyvkiadó.
Egyed, Péter, interview by Jánosi, Csongor , December 04, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection