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Hungarian Short Stories

Hungarian Short Stories

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Published by levelekcsomagok
Some novels from famous Hungarian writers
Some novels from famous Hungarian writers

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Published by: levelekcsomagok on Sep 27, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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(19th and 20th Centuries)
tér MÓR JÓKAI - The Two Willows by the Bridge (István Farkas)KÁROLY EÖTVÖS - The Evangelist of the Hermit’s Cave (Éva Rácz)KÁLMÁN MIKSZÁTH - Prakovszky, the Deaf Blacksmith (Sára Karig)SÁNDOR BRÓDY - The Jest (István Farkas)ISTVÁN TÖMÖRKÉNY - Men on the Dam (István Farkas)JEN
HELTAI - Sisters Three (István Farkas)GYULA KRÚDY - Death and the Journalist (Sára Karig)FERENC MOLNÁR - Coal Thieves (Fabienne Russo)FERENC MÓRA - A September Reminiscence (Mihály J. Pásztor)ZSIGMOND MÓRICZ - Seven Pennies (István Farkas)Barbarians (Gyula Gulyás)MARGIT KAFFKA - Smouldering Crisis (Sára Karig)LAJOS NAGY - An Afternoon with Mr. Grün, Solicitor (István Farkas)ANDOR GÁBOR - Better to Die (József Hatvany)DEZS
KOSZTOLÁNYI - A Holiday Swim (Zsuzsa Madarassy-Beck)GÉZA CSÁTH - The Red-Haired Girl (Fabienne Russo)FRIGYES KARINTHY - The Circus (György Welsburg)SÁNDOR HUNYADY-Adventure in Uniform (Zsuzsa Madarassy-Beck)ANDOR ENDRE GELLÉRI - With the Movers (István Farkas)
Hungarian literature, one of the least known literatures in Europe, has produced works of international literary rank mainly in the realm of poetry. The traditions of Hungarian versedate back to the sixteenth century, to the first great Hungarian lyricist, Bálint Balassi. Hevoiced not only the exuberance of the Hungarian Renaissance, but his boisterousness andsentimentality, his choice of themes dealing with the warrior’s life, with love and religiousfervour, made him a model for subsequent generations of Hungarian poets. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Hungarian literature has been atriumphal march of lyric poetry - each generation saw the emergence of great lyricists, whohave, however, remained almost completely unknown to people abroad and to internationalliterary opinion. The reason? Perhaps that the language of Hungarian poetry has always beenrefreshed from folklore and the archaic sources of Hungarian literature, so that the faithfulreproduction of the hues of its idiom would have required extraordinary gifts and poetic power on the part of the translators. But the isolation, the unfamiliarity of Hungarian poetry and of Hungarian literature generally, may also be explained by the fact that in the last century, thechief concern of our authors was with the establishment of a national character. This concernoverruled another - that of speaking to Europe, to mankind at large, and with it therequirement of contents that would transcend national limitations.While Hungarian poetry was able, by the end of the eighteenth century, to boast of severalgreat poets, narrative prose remained in its naive, archaic state. The novel, this most bourgeois product of European bourgeois development, was even as late as the first half of thenineteenth century only in an incipient stage in this country. Yet there had been quite a fewspontaneous and characteristic manifestations of narrative art in earlier Hungarian prose. The parables of mediaeval codices, some of the dramatic passages in seventeenth-centurymemoirs, portions of the correspondence of Transylvanian princes and aristocrats, and, of course, the treasure trove of Hungarian folk tales - all these were important precursors of later Hungarian narrative writing.In the first half of the nineteenth century it was the imitation of Eugène Sue and Walter Scottthat set off the development of the Hungarian novel. The “mysteries” of the former weresomewhat alien to the environment of the provincial Hungarian towns into which they weretransplanted - the historical atmosphere of the latter was far better suited to the subjects andcharacters of Hungarian history. It was after such preliminaries that the Hungarian novel was born in the works of Mór (Maurus) Jókai, at the middle of the last century. Jókai establishedthe national form of the Hungarian novel - in his picturesque and romantic manner he portrayed the personalities of the period preceding the revolution of 
848 - of the then recent past - the heroes of the Hungarian independence movements, the morals, customs and scenesof the vanishing feudal-patriarchal Hungary. The charm of Jókai’s works is due to thenostalgic colouring of the recent past and his emotional, melancholic farewell to an old andfamiliar world. This nostalgia and emotion may also be felt in his short stories. The writers of the second half of the century - particularly Mikszáth, who in many respects followed Jókaiand may, next to him, be regarded as the most significant author of the period - sang the swansong of the developing bourgeois Hungary to the old, intimate, patriarchal Hungary. In theshort stories and novels of Jókai and Mikszáth the old world is clad in fairy hues; amid theconditions of capitalist Hungary, the epoch whose termination was marked, by
848 suddenlycame to seem humane and pleasant, heroic and interesting, though it had in fact been tainted
 by Hapsburg tyranny, feudal conditions and semi-colonial subservience to the Austrianempire. In this manner, Jókai and Mikszáth established a lyrical approach to the recent past.They saw heroes and eccentrics in the Hungary of yore, and both types equally require thedescriptive art of romanticism and of realism to portray them. With Jókai and Mikszáth theHungarian towns and country manors became populated with strange and unique charactersand personalities. The art of these writers harbours a peculiar confession - that the second half of the century looked with emotion and pain upon the hopes and aims that had preceded
848.The defeat of the revolution and of the struggle for freedom had thwarted the fulfilment of these aims and the hopes remained unrequited. Jókai and Mikszáth voiced the feelings of the‘‘better half” of the nation - capitalist Hungary looked back on the Hungary of the pre-
848 period, as upon its own better part. Or, as a mature and disillusioned man, upon the happy,magnanimous, youthful period of great expectations, bold ventures and selfless heroism.It was Jókai and Mikszáth who gave birth to modern Hungarian short-story writing. Theseshort stories were a development of the anecdote, itself the favoured literary form of the old, patriarchal Hungary. These full-flavoured anecdotal short stories, built up round a point, are inmany ways different from Maupassant’s type of short story. The characters of these shortstories are heroes or eccentrics. The anecdote is suitable for the portrayal of both types. Itskindly, humorous savour deprives heroism of its poignancy, and eccentricity of the painfulfeeling of backwardness. The faithful heir, tender and cultivator of the anecdotal art of Jókaiand Mikszáth was Károly Eötvös.End-of-the-century Hungary awoke from its romanticism. In our country this romanticism hada longer after-life than anywhere else in the world. The cult of the recent past entertained bythe period of capitalism, could only be maintained amid the forms of romanticism. But theyoung generation of writers at the end of the century had no reminiscences of this pre-
848fairyland. Their experiences were simpler and more bitter. A truly urban Hungary had comeinto being, which saw even the village differently than the patriarchal mid-century generation.This period turned its attention to the unsolved, unsettled social problems of its day - and the breath of a new revolution may be felt in the passion with which the young generation drewattention to the destitution of the peasantry, the defencelessness of simple people and thedepravity of the gentry. One of the leading figures of this new literature - a special kind of 
littérature engagée
that was permeated with a sense of responsibility - was Sándor Bródy.And in his immediate vicinity, István Tömörkény provides an example of the philanthropic,sympathetic view of the people entertained by the urban intelligentsia. Tömörkény made averitable
of the peasant world which the heirs of romanticism had so far only presented on the scenes of bucolic plays and sentimental short stories, in an idealized, syrupysetting. His short stories are sometimes rendered cumbersome by their ethnographicdescriptions - inventories of customs, implements and the peculiarities of various trades.Zsigmond Móricz, with his rich knowledge of the peasantry, thought Tömörkény’s shortstories were “ethnographic museums.” Yet there was need for this “inventory” to be made, because the world which Tömörkény described was as unknown to the educated classes as thelife of an African tribe. More or less contemporaneously with the poor of the farmsteads onthe
, this period also discovered the urban poor, the proletarians. Ferenc Molnár wasthe first, before he undertook his more celebrated but also more superficial ventures instagecraft, to take note of the urban poor and to discover the bitter-sweet poetry of their life.The generation of short-story writers who emerged at the turn of the century, played only theoverture to the great poetic revolution that developed in this country between
905 and
9.This was intrinsically a revolutionary period, throughout Europe. The unallayed, defeatedHungarian revolution of 
849 came to life again in the bourgeois revolution of 
8 and

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