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.
The “Holocaust” experience marks a very important strand in the thematic material of Kertész's published works, yet it is far from being his only theme, as will become clear from the English translations of two stories, scheduled to be released by the small American publishing house Melville House.
Everything related to train
wagons had good associations for us. The one thing we never dreamed of
was that we’d also be herded into a wagon someday, and that it would be
unbearable. How unbearable? A person can bear anything.
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.