When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
The book seems to be an ironic game in which the didactic function of literature is questioned. Yet the situation is more complicated than that: Zsófia Bán seems to inscribe her own ideological messages into the text. Her aim is obviously to teach, not merely to amuse and delight.
The word “happy” is a surprisingly rarely used term in Hungarian literature, and this is one of the reasons why I chose to use it. It is rather the expressions for “unhappiness” that have become all too trivial.
András Mezei (1930) is a major poet and writer whose novel The Miracle Worker, a story about Budapest in 1943-44 seen from the point of view of Hungarian Jews, has been translated into English. He has just published his collected poems (Hármas könyv, Belvárosi Könyvkiadó, 2007).
She’s not coming, the Buda camera said. She ought to be there, said
the Pest end. Another tomfoolery of yours, said Buda. It’s not, honest!
Like hell it isn’t, the Buda end fumed. Days and weeks went by but the
girl never entered the eyes of the Buda camera.