Spotless collars, handkerchiefs white as snow gleam around Emerenc Szeredás; no sick person remains untended, no street unswept. Yet in the world of consolidating socialism of the Hungary of the 1960s, the harshness and strange lifestyle of this ex-servant somehow seems irritating and inscrutable.
"Ernő Szép was and is an important, noble, peculiar and outstanding figure of 20th century world poetry." "It would be stupid and senseless to measure in years or decades. Very early on, Ernő Szép already had his own, so to say, zen mind and zen voice... his own koan and haiku style." (Dezső Tandori)
More than eighty-five years old, Éva Fahidi lives in the inner city of Budapest, her memory is crystal clear, her manner of expression sharp as a razor. She had just passed her eighteenth birthday when on June 27, 1944 she was crowded into a cattle car in her native town of Debrecen in eastern Hungary and was deported to Auschwitz.
If one looked around, there were ten-storey apartment blocks stood everywhere, as far as the eye could see... For me, the whole of this scenery was at once familiar and reassuring. I had seen it continually since my childhood, an endless cross-hatching grid extending outwards in every direction...
Elina Hirvonen, a Finnish writer and filmmaker visited Budapest on the occasion of the publication of her second novel in Hungarian. We talked to her about Africa, motherhood, and the link between suffering and strength.
While the purist may fault this translation for departing from the form of the original by failure to rhyme and cropping a syllable, others will surely complain that a mere male is too reckless for words in attempting, even at second-hand, an account of female sexuality.
A fair amount of hot air has been emitted over literary translation in general, with talk of the destruction of source-texts, the invisibility of the translator and the rest. Verse translation, however, is spoken of even more oddly at times, and the object of this paper is to examine the problem and propose a future course.