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.
More than just three "Portraits of a
Marriage", as promised by the title, Márai's novel, now translated into English, paints three portraits of a society, a class, and
an era in Hungary—from the interwar years to the aftermath of World
War II and the beginning of the Communist era.
Elina Hirvonen, a Finnish writer and filmmaker visited Budapest on the occasion of the
publication of her second novel in Hungarian.
We talked to her about Africa, motherhood, and the link between suffering and strength.
"I know, Lord, that to think of you is cheek, / and still worse, to address you when I speak, / as if my voice were what you're yearning for. / There was a time, if you'd struck me with lightning, / I'd have accepted it, thought it the right thing. / Now I've made you my co-conspirator."