Through the interpretation of various texts, Péter György takes the reader on a scholarly guided tour of Hungarian national ideology from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy right up to the transformation in nationalist politics brought about by the 2010 elections.
Great swarms of Hungarians are leaving the country, the biggest wave since the 1956 revolution was repressed. "You should leave the place that’s not good for you. Those who are leaving are right to do so. And they will regret it, just like those who will stay", poet and ex-MP Endre Kukorelly reckons.
Is there anything more exasperating than understanding that we all participate in the same dance of death? Perpetrators and victims, givers and receivers of prizes, Jews and non-Jews, anti-Semites and philo-Semites, irrespective of culture and skin colour.
Several Hungarian writers are guests at the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin (ilb), along with Salman Rushdie, John M. Coetzee and 150 other writers. Péter Esterházy will read from Kertész's new book tonight at the Collegium Hungaricum.
"The good Prince Silence is not a wicked prince; it is the greatest power, and I was thinking not only of when you go alone by night and frighten off the terrible, fearsome silence, but also that it would be all up with me if ever in my life I allowed a silence dreader than Death to descend upon me." (Endre Ady, 1910)
Overwhelming; gut-wrenching; the most significant Hungarian novel of the year, of the decade― Szilárd Borbély’s The Dispossessed, a powerful novel about soul-wracking poverty in a Hungarian village in the 1960s and 70s, has earned such and similar praise.