Our nostalgic feeling for the piping days of peace is so insistent that
it will soon cease to have anything to do with the real story of the
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This nostalgia is the topic and the tone of
István Kerékgyártó’s novel, Milán Trüffel, or the Life of an Adventurer.
Ádám Bodor's books describe a world that is foreign yet uncannily familiar to East European readers, an absurd world determined by obscure powers. Bodor's 1992 masterpiece, "The Sinistra Zone" will be published in English this August by New Directions.
"When I had the Ottoman army lay waste to the Catholic conclave in Sicily, I had the sense that I was hitting with my own hands at the naïve masses who had hallucinated moral modesty into the taste impotence of my female acquaintance."— Excerpt from the first ever English translation of "Prae", forthcoming from Contra Mundum Press.
In 1996 I visited Hungary for the first time in 18 years. I came from New York with my laptop and a thoroughly Americanized mind. I found the country completely different from the grey death camp I left almost two decades ago. It was now a bursting, yet somehow utterly depressed and depressing Balkan bazaar, a kind of Mad Max land in King Ubu’s empire, where most people I met were in a bad mood.