When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
Can someone define themselves freely? This is Kertész's great theme in this volume of essays. Collectivism, he states, far from being merely an aspect of totalitarian regimes, "is the most characteristic feature of the twentieth century… and it thoroughly sweeps away both the individual and individuality".
"GYŐZŐ: Pest, the big smoke, is full of labouring proles, / Juicy with gossip about us on the hill. / Down there the streets are cordoned off. Cops know / They need not cordon streets off up in Buda.
KÁLMÁN: I’m faintly aware of a sickening distant buzz: / Here we go again: they’re burning cars. / Here we go again: uproot that call-box. / Here we go again: the piercing sirens. / Here we go again: streets full of teargas."
Their love was not an idyll without tensions as the textbooks would have it, yet that is precisely what made it an indissoluble bond, still alive today. Fanni Gyarmati, who was 100 last year, is still living in the apartment that the couple used to share.