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.
It would be very hard to find anything more absurd and nonsensical than the Hungarian army of the Socialist era. Face and About-Face recounts the unique experience of the one-year compulsory army service that young men who had been admitted to college or university had to complete before starting their studies.
One of the most acclaimed representatives of francophone literature,
Agota Kristof was awarded the most prestigious Hungarian state prize. When she
visited Hungary last year, she thought she would never come back again,
but now she came to take the award. We talked to Agota Kristof in Budapest.
"Mama, I pressed the button on time, he was already in pieces when he fell on the belt, all I wanted was to have a job, to be worth somethin’, to watch the rocks, I watch the rocks all day, all I wanted was to have somethin’ to do..."
Yet in summer, when the night is shortest and the longest trains trundle
over Gubacsi Bridge, an enormous boat makes an appearance on the
Soroksár Danube, arriving via the tubular bridge and preceded by huge