Gábor Csordás

Hungarian poet, essayist, translator and publisher. In 1989 he founded the publishing house Jelenkor and is the editor-in-chief of the journal of the same name.



Cover for: A dream is not nothing

A dream is not nothing

Farewell to György Konrád

György Konrád (1933–2019) was one of the intellectual leaders of the democratic transformation in Hungary, whose writings – banned at home – inspired a political generation throughout Central Europe and beyond. Publisher Gábor Csordás remembers Konrád’s wisdom and serenity, even in the face of censorship, surveillance and denunciation.

The rioting in Budapest in October 2006 following Ferenc Gyurscány’s “lying speech” was the result of deep divisions in Hungarian society. Political antagonism in Hungary, played out via historical symbols, has prompted commentators in Hungary to talk about a “civil war mentality” in the country. Eurozine asks Hungarian journalists, authors, and publishers how it has come to this.

Literary perspectives: Hungary

Mastering history through narrative?

In the first essay in the Eurozine “Literary perspectives” series, publisher Gábor Csordás introduces five new Hungarian novels. All share a concern with history and narrative, and all but one – György Spiró’s narrrative tour de force set in the Roman empire at the time of Christ – deal with Hungary’s recent past: the post-war period as experienced by the Slovak minority; a child’s-eye view of social changes during the Communist upheaval; a contemporary Jewish-Hungarian son’s struggle with his father and the past that formed him; and a collision of myth and mundanity when the closure of a collective farm causes the past to unravel. Spiró’s novel too, it emerges, sheds light on contemporary issues: the historical setting echoes in the anti-Semitism concerning many in Hungary today.

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Corporeal writing in Péter Nádas's "Parallel Stories"

Parallel Stories, the new novel by Péter Nádas, is a virtuoso combination of nineteenth-century high realism with the experimentalism of the nouveau roman, says Gábor Csordás. The novel’s four sets of interwoven narratives, spanning eastern and western Europe from the early 1960s to the fall of the Berlin Wall, are powered by the twin forces of politics and eroticism. But Parallel Stories is more than the sum of its plot lines: the real narrative is that of bodies’ actions on one another, their attraction and desires, their mutual memories. This kind of “corporeal writing” is Nádas’s great novelistic innovation.

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