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.
Péter Hajnóczy's recently discovered book follows the stories of ordinary people who got caught up in the net of the corrupt mental institutions of socialist Hungary where there was no one to protect the patients and from where there was no escape.
"The riot police come by bus with packed lunches, like a bunch of tourists from the countryside. After a quick city tour, they form a cordon, march down the Road of Revolution, and barricade Republic Square. Bobby-soxers pin flowers on their shields and offer them cakes. It gets smeared all over their visors."
Edith talks to herself about the way the delta discharges into the Black
Sea and the river is finally let go. There is no gripping at it, no dry
land anywhere; the Danube is able to breathe again. There is shooting, Edith topples into the Danube. Slowly, the
way she had learned by eye in the mirror, the body splashing with a
subdued plop into the Danube, with blood oozing profusely into the