A man coughs and looks about with disgust and hatred. There's a man in a dress smoking, he thinks, I guess. I hate myself. I'm tired of hating myself. I'm furious for being tired of hating myself. One, two, three, four, five, eight, seventeen heartbeats. – An excerpt from Incognito by Tibor Noé Kiss.
I should at first point out that in the two or three years previous, the blows of fate (drought, earthquake, floods) had followed each other in rapid succession. At that time, my father was still an active dancer at the Opera, although it was growing ever harder for him to lift his partners.
In sketching a portrait of George Konrád, it is my intention to delineate the features of a creative personality whose likeness is deeply embedded in history; an Eastern European intellectual whose life history, as well as the motifs of his work, are deeply interwoven with the public history of the region.
This novel is truly radical in its documentation of the fundamental shift in human consciousness that occurred (and is still occurring) at the onset of the new millennium with all that it implies: the collapse of Cold War dichotomies, the new challenges to Western civilization, the advent of cyberspace.
A stark depiction of life in a Hungarian village under communism as seen from the perspective of a young child, Ferenc Barnás’ novel The Ninth recounts the events of roughly a year in the life of a young boy and his family’s struggle to subsist by circumventing and exploiting the peculiarities of the socialist system as best they are able.
"Slips of paper fell to the ground when the little girl impatiently shook the boxes open. The first one said, NO!, the second said, YES!, and the third said, MAYBE! Klára whispered hoarsely to herself, like someone holding untold wealth. 'Yes, no, maybe, and it’s all mine, mine, mine!'"
In the first half of the 1960s, when I was born, and in the second half of the decade, when my memories begin, the village was entering the final phases of its narrative, bitter, sad, already less idyllic, weighted down by strains. The deep fissure, however, was not drawn between the village and the world outside the village, but within the village itself.
The names of twelve European authors to receive the first ever European Union Prize for Literature have been announced by the European Commission. The Hungarian winner is Noémi Szécsi's novel, Communist Monte Cristo.
Berlin-Hamlet is a rich tapestry of "subjective", "pseudo-subjective" and "meditative" texts, all related to present-day Berlin, though tinged with memories of more sinister places like Wannsee, where the decision about the systematic extermination of European Jews was taken by Nazi bureaucrats in 1942.
Dezso Tandori, whose early poetry "initiated what was later to be seen as a major revolution ... in recent Hungarian poetry", turned 70 this year. Critic Ferenc Takács outlines the career of this extremely versatile and prolific poet whose list of works amounts to no less than one hundred volumes of poetry, fiction and drama.