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.
Written by Magda Szabó (89), one of the most well-known and widely translated authors of current Hungarian literature, The Door, a manifestly autobiographical novel, tells the tale of a long and rhapsodic relationship between two stubborn women, the middle-aged lady-writer Magda and her old housekeeper, Emerence.
László Krasznahorkai is not a fashionable writer. He is marching directly against what the age is about: that literature should become part of the entertainment industry. He is failing to adapt smoothly to what is going on. This art is powerfully pitched against the intention to skim through life laughing or just sticking it out as best you can without taking any particular risk.
"To your greetings the cleaning woman answers / By listing the TV program, as if you asked her. / The electric brain magnetizes madness / Like television screen attracts the grime – / To wipe it clean, a dust cloth won’t suffice."
These days in Hungary literature has become an issue that people talk about passionately in the press, at demonstrations and on communal websites. We will now now take a brief look at two cases, one involving the changing of the national curriculum, the other the publication of a new anthology of political poems.