Café Amsterdam, an international Dutch festival, will be held in Budapest for the first time this year, between 29-31 May. We talked to Mireille Berman of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the organizer of the festival that will feature Dutch, Hungarian, British and American artists.
"When I had the Ottoman army lay waste to the Catholic conclave in Sicily, I had the sense that I was hitting with my own hands at the naïve masses who had hallucinated moral modesty into the taste impotence of my female acquaintance."— Excerpt from the first ever English translation of "Prae", forthcoming from Contra Mundum Press.
A terrible throne. It hovers above / the vortex of a pillar of fire. / Instead of seraphs and griffins, small figures / bustle below, their bones aglow. / Their brittle arms: a blighted forest / of flapping wings or flailing rods / gesticulating, lost in space / amidst the silent spokes of light.
Published last year in English in Tim Wilkinson's translation, 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.
"I toyed with an idea that I – as a decent Christian – never entertained before: what if the central signifier of all the metaphors and concepts of Christianity was not a beautiful, young, healthy but tortured male body... but a female body." - An interview from 2011 with the recently deceased poet, Szilárd Borbély.
In 1983, literary historian Lóránt Kabdebó conducted a series of interviews with Miklós Szentkuthy. These interviews — confessions — were later published in a book form. The excerpt published here is about the genealogy of Szentkuthy's monumental masterpiece, Prae, forthcoming in English from Contra Mundum Press.
Zsófia Bán discovers a whole new continent for Hungarian and women’s literature, including an ironic and feminist rereading. And all this is done not with the hubris of a conquistador but the sensitivity of the cultural translator.