László Krasznahorkai is not a fashionable writer. He is marching directly against what the age is about: that literature should become part of the entertainment industry. He is failing to adapt smoothly to what is going on. This art is powerfully pitched against the intention to skim through life laughing or just sticking it out as best you can without taking any particular risk.
Satan Tango is a novel about trust and its betrayal in many forms. The message is bleak: anyone who invests trust and hope in anything or anyone is almost bound to be disappointed and can only blame themselves for giving that trust and hope in the first place. There is certainly no redemption or transcendence to be had in this world.
"This was a pledge we had made together. We knew very well that we could not have children. If we did, we would expose ourselves to the regime. And this was a generation which did not want to get involved in a phoney game." – Magda Szabó (89) talks to writer János Háy.
Attila Balogh remarked in a recent interview that he lives in three Hells: disability, Gypsiness, and poetry. He went on to say that it is only the inferno of poetry he cannot bear. His work is certainly a journey beyond and under the edges of the known world where we never dare arrive at the center.
Everybody who knows something about football (and that’s about two billion people) knows that Hungarian football is dead. It didn’t die just now—its condition gradually deteriorated, and in the end it didn’t even recognize itself in the hospital—but on this day it has been pronounced clinically dead.
An anthology of well-written, witty and self-critical pieces, reviving National Stereotypes in tasteful, if not always PC humour, written by young Hungarian academics, and now translated by Hungarian-American translator Paul Olchváry.
...there is one form of art that cannot become worn, that goes beyond everyday novelty, innovation. And this – in its content, the experience, its formulation, its captivating betrayal – is death. (...) It says something new to everyone, something which he has not yet come across. And this is the multiple gigabyte novelty. Unrivalled avant-garde itself.
After a certain number of performances, a production takes on a life of its own, and the critic is unable to review it as an isolated night of entertainment. It has become a continuum, an institution, evolving over time as a living creature would. Such is the case with Zoltán Egressy's two plays.
The protagonist in this book is communism itself, one of the most dominant ideas and historical practices of modernity. More precisely, the book is about what we in this country mean by communism: the daily practice of a dictatorship which was born with the idea of communism standing by its cradle.
"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.