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.
In Géza Ottlik’s sparse oeuvre the posthumously published "novel" Buda claims a most special place. Appearing three years after the author’s death, Buda was not quite the long-awaited sequel to School at the Frontier (1959), his only other novel, considered by many as his major work. Yet Buda, fragmentary as it stands, is far more than a sequel. Buda stands free, an arbor vitae, Ottlik’s true monument.
In this latest addition to the series of interviews on our sister website Litera, Tim Wilkinson looks back on his career as a literary translator while also discussing his personal dreams and revealing which works have offered the greatest challenges, yet still proved to be the most rewarding.
Giving form to our ultimate abstractions, ultimate desires, notions that transcend our imagination. Just like the eternal agony of art to find a form for the incomprehensible. What kind of form? A human form. Limited rather than boundless; personal rather than infinite; fragile and mortal.
In the first half of the 1960s, when I was born, and in the second half of the decade, when my memories begin, the village was entering the final phases of its narrative, bitter, sad, already less idyllic, weighted down by strains. The deep fissure, however, was not drawn between the village and the world outside the village, but within the village itself.