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.
A quarter of a century has passed since the end of communism in Hungary, and the files of the state security service are still inaccessible to the public. Attila Ménes's play is based on the life of one of the most prominent authors of the last century, Sándor Tar, who was later exposed as an agent.
Jenő Rejtő’s legendary wit has made him one of the most popular writers in Hungary. His comic thrillers, written mostly in the 1930s, are a unique combination of madcap humour and out-and-out pulp adventure. His effortless bon mots have made it into everyday use, and his surreal Vaudeville humour remains a touchstone across several generations of readers. He was born in Budapest in 1905, wrote famously at his habitual table in the Japán Kávéház [Café Japan] and died on the 1st January 1943 in a forced labour camp. His last words, said to a comrade who was going to have to carry him out and bury him, were apparently: “I’m afraid I’m going to be rather heavy.”
"It must have happened mostly along those lines, I think," says Pál Réz, and readers and scholars alike need to realize: this is "mostly" how close we can get to truly knowing our own literary history. – The memoir of Pál Réz, a living legend in Hungarian literature.
In Europe, the continent that learnt the lessons of World War II, there have been no wars for 70 years. It has become a civilized, humanistic place. Except for the events that went on for ten years beyond Hungary’s southern borders.