When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
One of the most acclaimed representatives of francophone literature,
Agota Kristof was awarded the most prestigious Hungarian state prize. When she
visited Hungary last year, she thought she would never come back again,
but now she came to take the award. We talked to Agota Kristof in Budapest.
"Frederick the Great and Bach in church at night... They drink, they become delirious, they chatter: Bach is a perverted lecher, a Don Juan, an atheistic libertine; Frederick is a regicidal nihilist, a revolutionary, a traitor. By the morning both have grown quiet; Bach prays with his family, Frederick rides on horseback in front of his soldiers."
In 1996 I visited Hungary for the first time in 18 years. I came from New York with my laptop and a thoroughly Americanized mind. I found the country completely different from the grey death camp I left almost two decades ago. It was now a bursting, yet somehow utterly depressed and depressing Balkan bazaar, a kind of Mad Max land in King Ubu’s empire, where most people I met were in a bad mood.