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Books That Heal On the Road

Following up on a previous post On the Road: Bibliotherapy for Hungarians Abroad, I’m sharing what can be gleaned from a full semester bibliotherapy group session with fellow Hungarians living abroad. The first rule of fight clubs (i.e., don’t talk about fight clubs) applies to bibliotherapy groups too. Joking aside, the confidential setting is a powerful … Read More

Et. In. Arcadia. Ego. – Szilárd Borbély and Intertextual References

Speaking of his poetry in an interview in 2005, Borbély claims that he doesn’t intend to discuss deep philosophical questions in his works. Instead, he works on solving the task of creating a system of rules that builds on his previous works, but breaks away from them or obliterates them. Admitting that he doesn’t think … Read More

We Say “Aluminom” – Books by Szilárd Borbély in English

In addition to Borbély’s poems sporadically published in English in online journals, full volumes written by him have also been masterfully translated, starting with Berlin-Hamlet (Borbély, 2008): a book of poetry, which is, to some extent, considered as a predecessor to Kafka’s Son. Commemorating his own visits to Berlin, Borbély follows in the footsteps of … Read More

Szilárd Borbély in English: Kafka’s Son

Circling back to Kafka shows the long-lasting effect of early experiences and influences continually revisited that is discernible in Borbély’s works. One step forward from the practice of “the novel writing itself,” Kafka’s Son seems to follow another modus operandi, that of the text itself rewriting itself. Borbély turns to Kafka’s texts three times by … Read More

Language is a Graveyard: Szilárd Borbély and Literary Translation

Connecting a book with its audiences in another language often means bridging two separate, culturally different worlds. The intricacies of the source and target languages always make the translator’s work even more difficult.  One of the most famous authors preoccupied (to put it mildly) with translation was Milan Kundera, a writer who kept rewriting his … Read More

Language is Cruelest of All: Szilárd Borbély in English

When in 2013 Borbély’s first novel The Dispossesed was published in Hungarian, the buzz quickly picked up and demand grew for an English translation. A literary sensation somewhere between memoir and fiction, the book posed an incredible challenge for the reader to digest, let alone the translator to interpret and present the text in a … Read More