For Eastern Europe is, despite all its misery and hopelessness, a radiant, inspiring, enspiriting landscape, together with Chernobil if you like – one whose magic is impossible to escape. Repellent as it is in its violent, raw and also absurd internal relations and its immorality, these very same qualities captivate us and make it impossible to leave. This is an ambivalent state, and resolution seems forthcoming only through fantasy, a world of hovering visions.
It would be superb if in the process of writing, going from one word to the next, from one sentence to the next, there was some way that, like the beam of a flashlight, we could light up our way for and thus catch in the act precisely what is becoming what it does become from being caught in the act.
In 1958, somebody - the name is unimportant - his face beaming, tells his wife that it says in the newspaper Jóska Gáli has been sentenced to death, that is the József Gáli who was later to make a name for himself as a translator, whom his friend had last seen fourteen years before, when they were being herded into railroad trucks. The wife asks why he is so happy that Jóska Gáli has been sentenced to death. Answer: because that means he is alive!