The Violet, Day 20

Director angrily. But then you made it painless for him, certainly the way you winked at him, and the way you flattered him, that so disgusted me there at my work. Yet you dare speak like this? When you told him that you were in heaven!

Ilonka crying. And what should I have told him?! That I had a headache? Once I see what they want from me, what should I do? Sacrifice my own bread? She cries out in anguish. I had to be his echo!

Director. There’s something in that.

Ilonka crying. If they assault a person!

Director. That’s going too far, girl. But regardless it’s a pleasant surprise that you’re so frantic.

Ilonka crying. Villain! Villain! All directors are villains!

Director. Bravo, that’s the way to speak. Dear lady, if these are tears of offended honor …

Ilonka. These are my tears, if you please, and not theatrical salt water, I cry from my heart. But this is not the larger problem.

Director. Then what?

Ilonka. That I don’t care for the director. I care for another.

Director unsuspectingly. Yes, that was likely. Selmec. The Eighteenth Hussars.

Ilonka. Not a hussar.

Director. Well.

Ilonka sniffling or whimpering (the Hungarian text is ambiguous). A civilian.

Director. In Selmec?

Ilonka. In Pest.

Director. Where?

Ilonka. Close by.

Director. Close by?

Ilonka. Yes. You have a thick head. Crying bitterly. I love you!

I finally decided to translate “keservit” as “you made it painless”. I’m not 100% sure that’s accurate, but it fits the text perfectly, better than any other plausible meaning I could come up with.

You’ll note that later on I wasn’t sure whether to translate a stage direction as “sniffling” or “whimpering”, and just inserted a clarifying note rather than decide.

I did about four and a half pages today, there are about ten and a half more before the end of the play. I think it’s most likely I’ll finish on Friday or Saturday. I’m really pleased that I managed to set myself an ambitious goal and meet it.

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