When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
Sándor Márai’s novel burst onto the literary scene at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 1999, thanks to the English and the German translations. In Hungarian the book is having its renaissance. Still, from time to time, we hear voices which talk, in tones of disapproval or apology, about it being overrated, bemoaning the stormy success of a work supposedly inferior to other pieces of the oeuvre.
While the purist may fault this translation for departing from the form of the original by failure to
rhyme and cropping a syllable, others will surely complain that a mere male is too reckless for
words in attempting, even at second-hand, an account of female sexuality.
The Hungarian literary scene has only recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the rebirth in 1986 of the notable literary periodical Újhold (New Moon), which originally existed between 1946-1948. This is an important anniversary for contemporary literature which found its roots in the New Moon generation.