Addressed to an imaginary aunt, these letters from the 1700s, written by a member of Prince Ferenc Rákóczi's retinue in Turkish exile, are the first example of art prose in Hungarian. – Excerpts from a new English edition forthcoming from Corvina Press, Budapest.
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.”
"...we were superficial at the time of the turn of the century... We really believed we were invulnerable." – Born in Hungary, Terézia Mora (1971) has been living in Berlin from 1990. She is the author of a collection of short stories and a novel, written in German.
One of the Hungarian literary sensations of the last decade, Jadviga's Pillow (1997) was an oddity in Hungary, being both a critical and a public success. The novel, portraying life in a Slovak village in Hungary between the two world wars, was recently published in German under the title Das Kissen der Jadviga.
In 1996 I visited Hungary for the first time in 18 years. I came from New York with my laptop and a thoroughly Americanized mind. I found the country completely different from the grey death camp I left almost two decades ago. It was now a bursting, yet somehow utterly depressed and depressing Balkan bazaar, a kind of Mad Max land in King Ubu’s empire, where most people I met were in a bad mood.