The winner of this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize is Len Rix, the translator of Magda Szabó's The Door, published by Harvill. The prize, awarded to translations into English from living European languages, was handed out on June 7, 2006.
The Hungarian literary scene has only recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the rebirth in 1986 of the notable literary periodical Újhold (New Moon), which originally existed between 1946-1948. This is an important anniversary for contemporary literature which found its roots in the New Moon generation.
There was a time when Hungarian music represented Hungary – everybody was familiar with the name of Bartók and Kodály –, today it is literature. But in a small country with a small language, quality literature is an endangered species, in need of special promotion.
"Either we meet death blind or we face it openly – it makes little practical difference. I prefer to face it, because this brings me a life which is more complete and, in the final balance, more joyful. You could say I am a hedonist, if you like."
In the beginning of this year, people and organizations devoted to the work of Hungarian writer/philosopher Béla Hamvas decided to use the Internet as a means of network and community building. The site HamvasBéla.org is the first product of this e-project.
Trams, streets, promenades, familiar props of the cityscape serve as unsympathetic background for the speaker’s lonely, elegiac voice; changes of all kinds, transformations of shape, movement and personality take place, almost always intimately bound up with the identity of the speaker.
"There are some who love like the hare lost on the motorway, entrapped in spotlights. / There are some who love like the lion that tears apart what it desires. / There are some who love like the pilot loves the town on which he drops his bombs. / There are some who love like the radar that directs planes in the air."