In 2002 a Jewish man recalls the dying days of the Hungary’s Nazi occupation and how, as a fourteen-year-old, he and his family were to be sent to the death camps before coming under the protection of legendary Swiss Vice-Consul, Carl Lutz. – An excerpt from Iván Sándor’s haunting novel, newly translated into English.
"The stuff of this novel is closer to an anthropological or ethical description – it is more attuned to answering the question 'what sort of a being is man?' And in answering this it will treat other people’s opinions and beliefs as simple raw material, just as a doctor who gives a person an anaesthetic and does not take into account their sensitivities in other walks of life or worry about their nakedness."
"The riot police come by bus with packed lunches, like a bunch of tourists from the countryside. After a quick city tour, they form a cordon, march down the Road of Revolution, and barricade Republic Square. Bobby-soxers pin flowers on their shields and offer them cakes. It gets smeared all over their visors."
The revolution in Belgrade was practically a carnival. Thousands of people demonstrated for months on end against the system, against stupidity and against winter. Imagine a party that no one wants to leave, even after several months and several beatings.
The 37th Hungarian Film Week takes place in Budapest between 30 January and 7 February 2006. The opening ceremony kicked off last night with the screening of a new film by István Szabó, director of Hungary’s only Oscar winning feature film Mephisto.
"'You’re like a god,' Lajos Herda patted him on the back, then began explaining that there are these rocks on the belt, the way there are people on the earth, and Géza sits above it, the way God sits in heaven, and that, as a matter of fact, he, Géza, is the god of the rocks."
A new volume of essays drawn from 20th century Hungarian literature has been published in Holland by Van Gennep Publishing. The collection of essays entitled From Sándor Márai to Magda Szabó is already at the top of bestseller lists in Groningen.
The long list for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the major English award for foreign fiction, has been announced. The titles in contention include two books by Hungarian authors: Imre Kertész’s Fatelessness and Magda Szabó’s The Door.