Similar to the character of Gyuri Köves in Imre Kertész’s Fatelessness, Gyuri Azarel is a young boy capable of intellectual observations far above what would normally be expected. Released from the rules and conventions that define an adult’s existence, a child can ask and say anything; in the case of Azarel, this results in a narrator who hides behind the mask of childhood in order to gain free expression.
In spite of the fact that Hungary’s overall trade in books rose by one percent in comparison to the previous year, 2008 still marks a period of stagnation for Hungarian publishers due to a rising inflation.
"Three Men on Love" was an evening devoted to a discussion between poets Ádám Nádasdy, Christopher Whyte and András Gerevich as part of the Europoetica Festival, held in Budapest in April 2008. The three poets talked about love and issues of literary creation in relation to homosexuality.
In this latest addition to the series of interviews on our sister website Litera, Tim Wilkinson looks back on his career as a literary translator while also discussing his personal dreams and revealing which works have offered the greatest challenges, yet still proved to be the most rewarding.
In Géza Ottlik’s sparse oeuvre the posthumously published "novel" Buda claims a most special place. Appearing three years after the author’s death, Buda was not quite the long-awaited sequel to School at the Frontier (1959), his only other novel, considered by many as his major work. Yet Buda, fragmentary as it stands, is far more than a sequel. Buda stands free, an arbor vitae, Ottlik’s true monument.
"My name is Alina Moldova.I come from Eastern Europe (...) I have amalgam fillings in my teeth,in my heart I carry an inherited dread.When I speak English, no one understands me,when I speak French, no one understands me,It is only the language of fearthat I speak without an accent."
The recent publication of Sándor Márai’s novella, Esther’s Inheritance, provides not only a new addition to a steadily growing list of Márai works available in English, but also raises a series of provocative questions in a debate that has occupied critics since the unprecedented international success of the author’s novel, Embers, in 2000.
There are poets who are moved to write by the radio waves of language. Others simply look – they look until they see that what they see is not what they see. It is not a pipe, it is not a rose, it is not a bouquet of tulips. Until that certain "watermark" appears, "from which we may state that behind the startled and mundane actualities something must be standing in complete motionlessness."
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?