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.
The rootedness of Borbély's poems in the literary forms of the Baroque and their religious orientation could work against their reception in the English-speaking literary world. Yet the theological stance always runs perilously close to the blasphemous, and the rigourous form is always at the point of decay.
In Budapest no literate person can grow up without some sense of the Krúdy mystique that still hovers in the air, and harks back to the latter-day, "peacetime" splendors of the Monarchy that evaporated, along with so very much else, around 1918.
Chickens rotate slowly in a shop window. Six plucked chickens. The place
is no longer called a butcher shop; it is Meat Palace now. We’re having
a heat wave. The grilled chickens complete another turn on the spit.
Eurozine, a network of Europe’s leading cultural journals, is an online magazine featuring texts taken from its partner journals on various pressing issues of our time, translated into English. HLO talked to editor Simon Garnett about the present, past and future of the magazine during the Budapest Book Festival.