Zita has always been interested in people who create value in their field, which is why we started a new series of articles in which you can get to know them a little more closely - with whom we somehow fell in love.
Our love is not at all unfounded: Printa crushes are perfectly aligned with Printa's philosophy and visuals. The women appearing in the series have significant community-shaping and inspiring power: with their work and their whole being, they make the world a more liveable, beautiful and sustainable place.
Ott Anna is the artistic director of the Hadik Kávéház, but she has been promoting literature both online and offline for many years. In a highly digitized and constantly accelerating world, characters like him are needed more than ever. On weekdays full of stimuli, it is easy to forget about such an initially unstimulating activity as reading, but Anna reminds people every day of the joy and importance of literature. After my conversation with Kati Vörös, I now asked Anna Ott about her style, the effects of literature on our taste, and there was even room for a stomach-churning curiosity.
What are you reading now?
I don't usually read several books at the same time, but in the past few days I have been reading several books. A few weeks ago, I started a book club, where we read Susan Taubes' book Divorce and one night every two weeks we discuss what the part we read gave to whom. I keep up with the group, so between two sessions I started reading books that I will cover in the autumn literary programs. I am alternately reading Krisztina Tóth's new novel A majom zamje and Péter Nádas' horror stories.
E-book versus traditional book? Primarily due to sustainability, you often come across pro arguments in favor of the e-book, but opinions are very divided in this regard. What do you think about this?
It's been almost ten years since I got a Kindle for my graduation, and I still can't get used to it. I know its advantages, which are very convenient especially when traveling, I gave it many chances, I struggled a lot before I got to the point where I can say two things for sure today. One of them - which is now confirmed by several studies - is that the reading experience on a digital screen is simply not the same as when reading on paper. I've been using it recently, especially when I'm preparing for a book launch, but the book hasn't been published yet, so I get the manuscript in pdf and at least I don't have to read it on my computer. (After that, I always buy the printed edition.) And the other realization is that I am not only a reader, but also a collector.
I like to live among my books, it makes me happy to look at them, I like to organize and dust them. I have never thrown away a book, nor will I, I have the romantic image in my head that I will be able to give them as an inheritance to my grandchildren, many autographed, special copies.
In recent years, book publishing has been hit by reality in several ways, on the one hand, the number of readers is constantly decreasing, and on the other hand, the price of paper has risen so much that it is a big question how books will be able to be published and at what price they will be able to sell them. As far as I can, I want to support the authors and the many employees of the publishers who work on a book with my purchase.
Although reading is a solitary, solitary activity, literary discussions and events take place in front of an audience. Would you be interested in how you adapt your visual appearance to these? Is it a conscious process or a spontaneous, instinctive thing?
There isn't too much awareness involved. Of course, I try to look a little prettier than when I'm reading in my living room at home. I pay attention to a few things before I leave home. For example, I don't like to dress provocatively or wear a lot of make-up, because in these conversations the focus is not on me, especially not on my appearance, I am a bridge, with the help of which the given author or artist can reach his audience. The most important thing is to prepare sufficiently, to be present in my head, and to be able to tune in to my interlocutor and the audience with all my attention. And for this, I need to not have my mind wandering during the conversation that the clothes are tight, I can't walk in the shoes, something is sticking out here and there that shouldn't be sticking out, etc. In short: I try to dress appropriately for the occasion, but very comfortably.
How would you describe your style?
Comfort is more important than anything else. In addition, I noticed that in recent years it has become important what material the clothes I wear are made of, for example, in the summer I almost only wore my linen clothes. I like something clean and simple, I especially like earthy colors, and what I try to brighten them up with are the bags I've been in love with for decades.
Do you think a book, atmosphere, literary character can influence our style? Have you had such an experience?
Perhaps I have not yet experienced this so directly that I bought a particular piece of clothing because of a reading experience. But I deeply believe that everything we read affects us, our thoughts, our world view, our feelings. For example, last week I read Byung-Chul Han's book In Praise of the Earth, a star philosopher of our time, in which he writes about the effect on him of spending time in his garden, of gardening, of turning away from our digital world, and of course about what we have cultivated and continue to cultivate our environment in the past decades. This also confirms what I have been trying to do for years, which is to buy almost only used clothes, I love Facebook groups and wardrobe fairs, and if I can, I buy from domestic designers.
Fun facts! Tell us something interesting, strange or funny about yourself!
I thought about this answer for days, but nothing striking came to mind... It might be strange that I don't like apples and tomatoes. But now, as I write this, it's Monday morning, and I got the weekly notification on my phone about how much screen time I had for the past week. And this reminded me that when we say that we don't have time to read, we should subtract a quarter of an hour from our daily screen time, which we add to our daily reading time. Let's read a lot, because there are few better things in life. I say this to myself and to you too, to see if you will accept it too!