In Géza Ottlik’s sparse oeuvre the posthumously published "novel" Buda claims a most special place. Appearing three years after the author’s death, Buda was not quite the long-awaited sequel to School at the Frontier (1959), his only other novel, considered by many as his major work. Yet Buda, fragmentary as it stands, is far more than a sequel. Buda stands free, an arbor vitae, Ottlik’s true monument.
Our interview with Tomas Venclova, Lithuanian poet, essayist and
professor of literature at Yale University, on social and historical
parallels between Eastern European nations, on the notion of home and on
the special meaning of Hamlet in our region.
Why is this night different from any other night? / Otto Moll, Oberscharführer, asked / himself, and in the meantime searched for / the answer. From the south a breeze arose/ upon the Polish plain, and drifted into / the rose colours of twilight / above the chimneys
The plot of Casemates is based on the darkest moment of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution: the siege of the Communist Party Headquarters in Budapest. With the 50th anniversary of the revolution well nigh, this is no one's idea of a flattering, commemorative play. Rather, it is an excoriating piece of provocation.