As we contemplated Jack London’s birthday on January 12th, we were curious to know the reading tastes of Hungarian young people. We discussed opposition between classic and contemporary youth fiction in Hungary. What is most popular among them today? Is it the rewritten classics, the trendy vampire stories or the favorites of their parents’ generation?
Distant from Asia, yet not in Europe. Moving away from the East towards the West, wary of the former, hopeful in the latter. (...) To the foreigner, Hungary appears a land of contradictions, a terra incognita with much that is recognizably European, but even more that remains beyond comprehension, just as an operetta bears some resemblance to real life, yet is light years distant from it.
Corvina Publishing House in Budapest has spent decades in the business of conveying classic and modern Hungarian literature to foreigners. The director of the publishing house talks about the chances of Hungarian books finding their way to an audience outside Hungary.
"I married and divorced, but all the thoughts running through my head were: goal-kicking and Maria Schneider. I managed to trade off my small council apartment for a larger one through a fictitious contract, but all the while I was occupied with the thought of goal-kicking and Maria Schneider."