Lázár, widely read for his children’s tales and tales for adults, and Tar, who is read by a smaller circle of admirers for his beautifully told somber stories, seem like an odd couple, indeed, a seemingly haphazard choice of authors.
Zsigmond Móricz's Gold in the Mud is a novel that does things with words; it is a novel which deploys an inexorable naturalism and a typifying exaggeration of its characters to express a clear message – serfdom is paralyzing for the aspirational and all-devouring for the ordinary.
A classic of Hungarian literature, this novel tells the story of a peasant Don Juan and leader of a village who, torn between the torpid bliss of his home life and a seething quest for prosperity, follows his urge to break the bonds of his low social status.
He gave his counter-argument, but it was sketchy and sweaty and desperate and above all: angry. The hush that followed testified that I had won the audience over, and put me at ease. We fell silent. No applause, not a single sound came. Then somebody in the first row said quite audibly, "What a pair of narcistic dumbfucks!"
In 2002 a Jewish man recalls the dying days of the Hungary’s Nazi occupation and how, as a fourteen-year-old, he and his family were to be sent to the death camps before coming under the protection of legendary Swiss Vice-Consul, Carl Lutz. – An excerpt from Iván Sándor’s haunting novel, newly translated into English.
Sándor Jászberényi has worked as a correspondent in conflict zones for Hungarian newspapers for many years. His first collection of short stories, The Devil is a Black Dog (2013), is based on his experiences as a journalist in the Middle East.