The Gravel Pit Lake did well enough in Hungary but, undeservedly, failed to raise any particular storms. It took a German audience to come and throw laurels amid the waves of the lake. Over the past months, directly after its publication in German translation, the book was lauded in superlatives by the most prestigious dailies and literary forums.
Who was Zsuzsa Beney? There are many answers to the question. She was certainly one of the most original voices in recent Hungarian poetry whose originality was vouchsafed by a voice and a theme which was both consciously and unconsciously monolithic.
"A Catalogus Rerum, an "Index of Phenomena" – I am unlikely to free myself of this, the most primitive of my desires. ... is that a sentimental fear of death guiding me, I wonder, a grandpawish fondness for knick-knacks, or some desire for universal knowledge, a Faustian gesture?"
Few works of literature have raised such a storm and caused such reverberations going way beyond their literary relevance as Esterházy’s Revised Edition. One of the greatest confessions of the age, the book recounts the story of the author finding out that his father had been an informer.
The 17 July issue of The New York Review of Books dedicates more than three pages to "The Genius of Péter Nádas". The article, written by Deborah Eisenberg, focuses on Nádas’s volume of essays and short stories entitled Fire and Knowledge, published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in Imre Goldstein's translation.
For the English-speaking public, the oeuvre of Miklós Szentkuthy (1908–1988) is completely unknown. Yet there is a large camp of ardent Szentkuthy readers in his native Hungary, and in France his ten translated works have created something very close to a cult.
After Detective Story, another short work by Kertész has been published in English. The story of a man called "the commissioner" and his wife visiting an unnamed place where enormities of an unspecified character happened some time ago, The Pathseeker is a novella of a search for traces, frustrated at every turn by life's contingencies and the impossibility of evoking what has passed.