Ervin Lázár is the creator of a genre we may safely call
Central European folk surrealism, which takes on the quality of a
hallucinatory exploration into that part of the soul where beauty, hope,
and yearning live in close proximity with the harsh realities of life.
An accurate enough version of a contemporary, disillusioned Hungarian zeitgeist, this novel is an uncompromising rebellion against consumerism, bourgeois values, and ultimately, all the banalities of social norms and interpersonal Catch-22’s.
Our interview with Tomas Venclova, Lithuanian poet, essayist and
professor of literature at Yale University, on social and historical
parallels between Eastern European nations, on the notion of home and on
the special meaning of Hamlet in our region.
"Running an eye over the regions of our own era, controlled and enmeshed as they are in so many different ways, the sight of disintegrated or as yet unconsolidated terror states prompts us, time and time again, to ask: at what moment do age-old agencies encounter the personal names that suddenly spring to the surface?"
Writers and poets were intensively spied upon in the forty years of the
Kádár era. After his book on agents on the rock music scene, Tamás
Szőnyei has written a monumental study on informers who specialized in