Publisher Zoltán Pap

This year ‘Small World’ is the main theme of Prima Vista. What does this phrase mean to you?

Publisher Zoltán Pap. Photo: private collection

In the 1980s I had to spend my childhood in the last decade of the Socialism. My small world was half a continent behind the Iron Curtain. Then in the 1990s the world opened up and the small world turned into a big world, we could travel freely, we could get a world passport, there was no financial limit to buy US Dollars, Italian Liras or German Marks, the world became different. It looked big but conquestable.

After the university and a year of working in Africa, I started my ’adult life’ at one of Hungary’s leading literary publishers, and I increasingly felt that the world was shrinking again, becoming a small world, so I set out in 2009 and moved to England with my family, to chase the big world again. I worked for a smaller UK publisher for 5 years. What a coincidence! The company’s name was ‘small world creations’, strictly with small initials.

By then, smartphones came, the net started to rule our lives, and the vast world began to narrow and transformed into a small world. Not only a part of it, but the whole planet began to look smaller and smaller. Today, thanks to technical progress, the people’s desire for freedom and the opportunities, I can travel to Estonia from Hungary almost as easily as if I were only traveling from one city to another. As a child, we just looked at the planes (mainly Soviet military aircrafts) at the Budapest Airport and dreamed with my brothers that one day we would fly. Definitely, it’s not a small world we live in, but even if it feels small, we still have to trust that one day we’ll have a chance to see something else, other parts of the bigger world.

For my kids, maybe Europe will mean the small world, the place where they feel at home, and the Solar System will be the big world, we don’t know yet, but still, we’ve come a long way since the 1980s, not just in time, but also on the highway of development.

Zoltán Pap

Publisher at Libri Publishing Group, literary agent of Vilmos Kondor at Sárközy & Co. Literary Agency, Hungary