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.
Few works of literature have raised such a storm and caused such reverberations going way beyond their literary relevance as Esterházy’s Revised Edition. One of the greatest confessions of the age, the book recounts the story of the author finding out that his father had been an informer.
To me, the shouting Nazis staging their brutal raids on civilian shelters hunting for Jews in hiding, like me, appeared as dumb, cruel, homicidal monsters pretty low on my scale of threats, after the continuous aerial bombardment, the ubiquitous disease-carrying vermin and the contaminated drinking-water supply that got me in the end.
"I am deadly insulted. I only look like people. This chap here who breathes in and out past my lips, he is no work of mine. I have no idea what I have to do with the whole composition. Where is my own special programme, my individual taste, my fantasy and my interest? This me? Any bellboy has the right to look like me. I have been settled. I am deeply ashamed. Me, me, me."
Distant from Asia, yet not in Europe. Moving away from the East towards the West, wary of the former, hopeful in the latter. (...) To the foreigner, Hungary appears a land of contradictions, a terra incognita with much that is recognizably European, but even more that remains beyond comprehension, just as an operetta bears some resemblance to real life, yet is light years distant from it.