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.
In advance of Imre Kertész’s first public appearance in Great Britain on 5 March at the Jewish Book Week, it seemed worth gathering together a handful of references that he has made to the English in various published works. This is mostly because they carry an amusingly equivocal edge, but they also highlight a few of the difficult choices translators sometimes face.
Overwhelming; gut-wrenching; the most significant Hungarian novel of the year, of the decade―Szilárd Borbély’s The Dispossessed, a powerful novel about soul-wracking poverty in a Hungarian village in the 1960s and 70s, has earned such and similar praise.
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.