Published last year in English, László Fábián’s experimentalist 1976 novel mirrors the pantheistic world of a highly sensitive child gradually maturing into an artist, who identifies with the great explorer, Roald Amundsen.
As the year-and-a-half-long Hungarian Cultural Season in Germany (Ungarischer Akzent) draws to a close, the Hungarian stand at the greatest book event in the world has some remarkable events in store for visitors of the fair.
"we sniffed our new friends out hungrily and tried to figure out exactly what everyone else was trying to figure out why they lived together was it like our neighbor innocently imagined that they were no more than colleagues or cousins for whom it was easier and cheaper together or was it because like us they were secret lovers"
Touch me not, Flore! is obviously not the beginning of a new creative stage for Márton, but rather a delightful story written by a writer liberated from some oppressing weight. The style of this book shows another facet of Márton's prose: here, his usual ”narrative arbitrariness” follows the pattern of pulp novels and operetta librettos.
András Mezei (1930) is a major poet and writer whose novel The Miracle Worker, a story about Budapest in 1943-44 seen from the point of view of Hungarian Jews, has been translated into English. He has just published his collected poems (Hármas könyv, Belvárosi Könyvkiadó, 2007).
"All these forgotten destinies had an effect on the kid. In point of fact, the whole world is a conspiracy like this one, as hatched upon us by others. These people exist in order to take the grievances they have accumulated in their lives out on us in the most devious way possible, and by the time you notice, you are already standing there with a knife in your hand ready to kill someone."
After Péter Nádas' great novel A Book of Memories, which has been compared to works by Joyce, Musil and Proust, American readers can now get a glimpse of the full range of the author's talent. A collection of short stories, essays and literary criticism by Péter Nádas entitled Fire and Knowledge was published recently by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
The book seems to be an ironic game in which the didactic function of literature is questioned. Yet the situation is more complicated than that: Zsófia Bán seems to inscribe her own ideological messages into the text. Her aim is obviously to teach, not merely to amuse and delight.
"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."
Magda Szabó's Katalin Street is winner of the Prix Cévennes, awarded for the first time to the best European novel of the year. A novel of childhood nostalgia and the fate of relationships formed in childhood, Katalin Street tells the story of three families who live in the same street in Budapest.