The Hungarian Writers’ Union has been informed by a source in Brussels that, after a series of confidential conferences, an agreement is imminent on obligatory literary standards for all EU member states. Our correspondent has been able to obtain this draft copy of the chapter relating to the novel only.
(b. 1946) is a novelist, playwright, essayist, translator, and Slavic scholar. He teaches eastern European literature at Eötvös University in Budapest. He is the author of four novels, collections of short stories, volumes of essays, and numerous plays.
Not Jewish. Not Hungarian. Not anti-German enough.
Although in Hungary during the Kádár regime of the 1960s the literary climate was more open than in other eastern bloc states, the censorship system ensured that politically independent writers did not rise above obscurity. Imre Kertész’s first novel, Fatelessness, was published to mild acclaim in 1975; but Kertész was not able to break into the closed circles of literary eminence, nor to dispel the distrust of the public. Now, Kertész offends Hungarian nationalists, as well as those who feel that, as a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, he should be more anti-German.