"At times ruining is all it does. Ruin and ruin, Commonism is a ruin. The most interesting thing in Commonism, and this is truly interesting, is that everything is destroyed, and what is built up in place of the destruction, that work is in itself destruction."
Imre Kertész’s Dossier K was published in German last year by Rowohlt Verlag, in Kristin Schwamm’s translation. In November, the book ranked highest on the literary hit list of the Süd-West Deutsche Radio, and now it tops the list of Austrian radio and TV station ORF for December. The book has been extensively reviewed in the German press.
Zsuzsa Rakovszky's career as a writer spans 25 years, and she currently enjoys respected status as both poet and novelist. Only in the last few years has she begun writing prose, publishing two highly acclaimed novels. This year's publication of a volume of her collected poetry, Visszaút az idoben (A Way Back in Time), brackets the breadth of her poetic achievements.
Another Márai novel has appeared on the international literary scene. Two closely related novels by Sándor Márai have been recently published in French by Albin Michel under the title Métamorphoses d’un mariage, translated by Georges Kassai and Zéno Bianu. The critic of Le Point called the book a masterpiece.
Sándor Márai’s novel burst onto the literary scene at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 1999, thanks to the English and the German translations. In Hungarian the book is having its renaissance. Still, from time to time, we hear voices which talk, in tones of disapproval or apology, about it being overrated, bemoaning the stormy success of a work supposedly inferior to other pieces of the oeuvre.
93-year-old Hungarian poet Victor (Gyozo) Határ died on Monday afternoon in St. George’s Hospital in London. Only two weeks ago, Határ, who survived his wife by ten days, took part in a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution at St. James's Palace, where he read an excerpt in English from his reminiscences about the Revolution.
Tar’s prose is about nothing else but poverty. Yet, for him this is far more than a plain quality of social existence; it is an ontological predicament. His texts are socially embedded, but they are not restricted in relevance.
“There’s all these beautiful new houses, some with six rooms and split levels, burdened with mortgages, and the head of the household out of work, not to mention the children, they signed a contract to have them, and got promised the moon, and now there’s nothing, just the shit hitting the fan. Then after a while the wife gets fed up and wants a divorce. That’s how things go today. And the houses, Uncle Vida says, the houses are up for sale. But who's gonna want to buy them, he says.”