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.
Having finished all immediate consignments, and with one of my most recent book translations (Imre Kertész’s Detective Story) officially published in both the US and the UK, I obtained several books to catch up on some bits of reading for sheer pleasure.
One of the most acclaimed representatives of francophone literature,
Agota Kristof was awarded the most prestigious Hungarian state prize. When she
visited Hungary last year, she thought she would never come back again,
but now she came to take the award. We talked to Agota Kristof in Budapest.
Krisztián Grecsó's novel resonates with the heavy and
magical tones of Central Europe, taking its reader through the whole of
the Carpathian Basin in the twentieth century, from Romania and Transylvania through Hungary to the Austrian Alps.
"This is your last night, László," said the voice in the phone. It was 3 AM, on a night in early spring, 1978. I put down the phone. After a couple of minutes, it started to ring again. "You’ll be dead by the morning, László," said the voice.