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.
Just on its title alone many Hungarian readers in 1976 (and since) must have been puzzled by László Fábián's first short novel, an astonishingly rich growing-of-age tale, told in a persuasively poetic manner.
A publisher of innovative and experimental
work from the beginning, New Directions’s main
aim today is to make the works of foreign writers known in the US. We
talked to Barbara Epler, editor-in-chief of New Directions at the Budapest Book Festival.
The Word becomes mortal and vulnerable when it is made flesh. The poem
stutters when it talks about body. Through individual stories of
suffering and philosophical odes, Szilárd Borbély’s volume, To the Body, tests the divine and the poetic word against the human experience of existing in a body.
When I was twenty-one I was baptised, along with C, by full immersion in a West London Baptist Church. It was an act of romantic commitment. My mother was in the congregation. Later, she was to write to a friend in Hungary that C and I emerged out of the water like drowned rats.