These days in Hungary literature has become an issue that people talk about passionately in the press, at demonstrations and on communal websites. We take a brief look at two cases, one involving the changing of the national curriculum, the other the publication of a new anthology of political poems.
Spotless collars, handkerchiefs white as snow gleam around Emerenc Szeredás; no sick person remains untended, no street unswept. Yet in the world of consolidating socialism of the Hungary of the 1960s, the harshness and strange lifestyle of this ex-servant somehow seems irritating and inscrutable.
A fair amount of hot air has been emitted over literary translation in
general, with talk of the destruction of source-texts, the invisibility
of the translator and the rest. Verse translation, however, is spoken of
even more oddly at times, and the object of this paper is to examine
the problem and propose a future course.
Some people who it may be assumed know what they are saying say that just as every tale has it counter-tale so every river has its counter-river. In the latter case it generally seems that the counter-river is somewhat broader than the river itself under which it winds, underground, but precisely following its route and, discounting one or two inexplicable exceptions, runs in the opposite direction.