More than just three "Portraits of a
Marriage", as promised by the title, Márai's novel, now translated into English, paints three portraits of a society, a class, and
an era in Hungary—from the interwar years to the aftermath of World
War II and the beginning of the Communist era.
Overwhelming; gut-wrenching; the most significant Hungarian novel of the year, of the decade―Szilárd Borbély’s The Dispossessed, a powerful novel about soul-wracking poverty in a Hungarian village in the 1960s and 70s, has earned such and similar praise.
Published last year in English in Tim Wilkinson's translation, László Fábián’s experimentalist 1976 novel mirrors the pantheistic world of a highly sensitive child gradually maturing into an artist, who identifies with the great explorer, Roald Amundsen.
This paper examines reader's reports in the archives of a Hungarian publishing house, and provides a glimpse into the elaborate ritual of tacit negotiations and the exercise of self-censorship in the Kádár era.