"I think German readers are sensitive to our difficulties, our problems, our pessimism; to our complex way of seeing things." – Ferenc Barnás talks us about his books published in German and English, and being one of the guests of Frankfurt Book Fair 2016.
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.
Over the recent period, a number of authors have left contemporary Hungarian literature and entered the national pantheon who had one crucial trait in common, namely, that they may fairly be called the last "big game" of modern day Central and Eastern European literature.