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.
Zsófia Bán discovers a whole new continent for Hungarian and women’s literature, including an ironic and feminist rereading. And all this is done not with the hubris of a conquistador but the sensitivity of the cultural translator.
If one looked around, there were ten-storey apartment blocks stood
everywhere, as far as the eye could see... For me, the whole of this scenery was at once familiar and
reassuring. I had seen it continually since my childhood, an endless
cross-hatching grid extending outwards in every direction...
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.