Zsófia Bán

is a writer, critic, and scholar. Her stories have been widely anthologized and her first volume of fiction is Esti iskola: Olvasókönyv felnotteknek (2007; Evening School: A Reader for Adults). Bán is also a prolific writer of essays and reviews on literature, art, and visual culture. Her essay collections include Test-Packing (2008) and Amerikáner (2000). Her most recent book is Exposed Memories: Family Pictures in Private and Collective Memory (2010), a co-edited volume. She is Associate Professor of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.


Cover for: Writing in opposition

Writing in opposition

A conversation on the politics of literature

When political points can be scored by tearing up children’s books that are deemed too tolerant, what is a writer to do? Should they become an activist?

Following the political logic of pop-cultural palaeontology, Hungary’s resurgent far-Right excavates archaic cultural identities for the youth of today, writes Zsófia Bán. Mythical symbols of national strength fill the historical void felt by post-’89 generations, whom even the cathartic moment of regime change fails to unite.

A box of photos

(Captions on the back)

A man looks at photographs of his youth in pre-war Budapest. Above all he remembers his love, the seductive Jolika. Yet memory is tainted by sorrow as it becomes clear that this is a story of loss and displacement.

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