In his eulogy delivered at the memorial service at the Farkasrét Cemetery, the Prime Minister highlighted that “when our time came,” he stood baffled for many long years, and waited for Marcell Jankovics to retort to those who forced him out and pushed him aside earlier. He kept complaining bitterly, urged him to finally take action, and it took him years to understand that he was waiting in vain because Marcell Jankovics had a different mission, he explained.
He stressed that his mission lay in showing us what we were fighting for, what it was we had to defend, and in ensuring that “the battle shouldn’t harden our hearts irremediably,” and we can remain human beings even in the toughest battles. He showed us that what mattered was not the opponent to be defeated, but that which and those whom we were in actual fact fighting for. He warned us that we reap victories one by one in vain; unless we take good care, our culture will disappear forever.
Marcell Jankovics was one of the last polymaths who was borne aloft by our land, he left behind a magnificent life’s work, Mr Orbán said, highlighting how much the artist was able to fit into his life and how he was willing to sacrifice 23 years for The Tragedy of Man.
The real gift, the real heroic deed is the final result itself, however, as he finally released a work of art about which one can say that every single day spent in the making and the fight fought for it was worth it, the Prime Minister added.
He highlighted that for Marcell Jankovics being Hungarian and speaking Hungarian was not a state, but a rank. He believed that Hungarian culture has every right to demand the world’s attention, and it never crossed his mind to make our culture more digestible by repackaging it to suit the taste of the Western world.
Mr Orbán also said it is equally difficult to be born and to die, and dying well is especially hard. However, the Lord rushes to the aid of us Christians by connecting together a productive and diligent life with a good death. If we accomplish our mission, he will spare us the fate of seeing life as futile and dreading death as destruction, he pointed out.
If you succeed in learning that which you can, creating that which you are able to and repaying that which you received, you will have a good death, the Prime Minister said.
The Kossuth and Balázs Béla Prize winning cartoon director, graphic artist, book illustrator, education historian, Artist of the Nation, Honorary President of the Hungarian Academy of Arts who was decorated with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Middle Cross, died on 29 May aged 80.