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 as the author oscillates from his beloved cities, Budapest and Berlin, to the city of his imagination, Kandor, and then back again to a stone cottage located on a windswept plateau, his works also swing from literary prose to nouveau roman, only to return once more to essays and sociological observations.
Captivity was a conscious emigration into the great events of a great era. Our world here, the world we were socialised into, is a small and shabby world. Being part of a small nation is usually not favourable for great prose and drama.
With its objects and its environment, St Stephen's Park in Budapest encapsulates the ways in which recent history was monumentalised in Hungary by various ideologies. - This introductory essay is a fitting hors d'oeuvre to the essays revolving around cultural memory, edited by a team of scholars at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.