Magyar regények angolul ... olvastad már őket?

Magyar regények angolul ... Olvastad már őket?

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Készítettünk egy kis összeállítást néhány híres magyar regényről, amelyek angol műfordításban is megjelentek. Érdemes őket elolvasni, pláne, ha már magyarul megtetted!  

Timeless Hungarian Novels in English Translation

Hungarian is a beautiful language but it’s difficult to learn and there aren’t many foreign people who master it well enough to be able to read our literature in the original. Luckily, Hungarian literature is widely translated into foreign languages – English among them – so a wide audience can enjoy the works of Hungarian poets and writers in translation. We’ve checked the selection of books and have chosen a few excellent novels that we can recommend for you or for your foreign friends to read in English.

The Door by Magda Szabó

Magda Szabó is one of the most translated Hungarian authors. Her works have been translated into more than 30 languages. The Door is the story of a narrator – a writer - and her housekeeper called Emerenc Szeredás. Though it’s not a literally autobiographical story it strongly resembles Magda Szabó’s life. The novel revolves around the relationship between the two women. Emerenc remains a mystery throughout the whole novel. She lives behind a closed door where she doesn’t allow anyone to enter. Though she is only a housekeeper she doesn’t do everyone’s dirty laundry, she chooses very carefully who she is willing to work for. What’s hidden behind the door and what’s hidden in the narrator’s soul? Will they open up or will Magda Szabó and Emerenc keep their secrets?

Fatelessness by Imre Kertész

Imre Kertész was the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature: "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history". The novel is a semi-autobiographical story about a 14-year-old Hungarian Jew's – Gyuri Köves’s - experiences in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. The book gives a detailed picture of World War II, the Nazis, and the Holocaust. Though Gyuri survives the concentration camps he experiences that getting back to a life that is considered to be normal is almost as difficult as surviving the Holocaust. The movie version of the novel - directed by Lajos Koltai - is just as thought-provoking as the novel.

The White King by György Dragomán

György Dragomán is a contemporary writer who has won the prestigious Sándor Márai prize. The novel is about an eleven-year-old boy living behind the Iron Curtain. His father was taken away by the state security service to work in a labour camp by the Danube. The boy - Djata – doesn’t even know what exactly happened to the father, but hopes against hope that one day his father will definitely come back. He lives the typical life of a young boy of the time but somewhere in the background there always lurks the absence of his father and the unsolved mystery of what has happened and whether there will be a happy ending to the story or not.

The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár

Ferenc Molnár’s classic novel is compulsory reading in upper primary so every Hungarian is supposed to know the sad but uplifting and moving story of Ernő Nemecsek. The theatre version of the novel has been on in Víg Theater for a few years with enormous success. The story is more than of a war for an empty lot where the boys play. It gives an insight into the young boys’ soul and teaches honour and honesty and shows that even if someone is young and small he still can become a hero.

Eclipse of the Crescent Moon by Géza Gárdonyi

Another compulsory reading – another classic. It’s one of the most loved books of all time in Hungary. In 2005 it was chosen to be Hungary’s Favourite Book in a poll. The plot of the novel is based on the true story of the 1552 siege of Eger castle. The main character of the book is Gergely Bornemissza. We meet him at the age of eight and can follow his life until the siege in his early thirties. Most characters of the book are historical figures, including Gergely Bornemissza, but his life story is almost fully invented by Gárdonyi. Eclipse of the Crescent Moon is a compelling story of bravery, patriotism, and romance and proves that victory doesn’t necessarily depend on the number of the soldiers involved, a lot of other factors play a role in it, as well.

School at the Frontier by Géza Ottlik

Géza Ottlik attended a military school in Kőszeg and the book is partly based on his own experiences. We get a thorough glimpse of the life of a boys’ school through the eyes of a young boy, Bébé. We can be part of the life of three boys and see how they can or are unable to adapt to the harsh and extraordinary circumstances and discipline of the school while making life-long friendships. Surviving is hard, but every day has its own little joy that makes it worth getting up in the morning. Géza Ottlik is a master of words and the story is so gripping that it’s difficult to put down the book before you read it from cover to cover.

by Ágnes Salánki and István Dezsényi

Vocabulary

timeless

időtlen, időtálló

in the original

eredetiben

narrator

elbeszélő

housekeeper

házvezetőnő

autobiographical

önéletrajzi

to resemble

emlékeztetni, hasonlítani vmire

to revolve around sg

forogni valami körül

to remain

megmaradni

Fatelessness

Sorstalanság

to uphold

fenntartani

fragile

törékeny

individual

egyén

arbitrariness

önkényesség

semi-autobiographical

részben önéletrajzi

Jew

zsidó

to survive

túlélni

thought-provoking

gondolatébresztő

Iron Curtain

Vasfüggöny

to hope against hope

minden józan ész/nehézség ellenében remélni

to lurk

ólálkodni

absence

hiány

unsolved mystery

megoldatlan rejtély

compulsory reading

kötelező olvasmány

uplifting

felemelő

moving

megindító

upper primary

felső tagozat

lot

telek

honour

becsület

honesty

tisztesség

hero

hős

eclipse of the moon

holdfogyatkozás

crescent moon

félhold

Eclipse of the Crescent Moon

Egri csillagok

poll

szavazás

plot

cselekmény, tartalom

siege

ostrom

to invent

kitalálni

compelling

lenyűgöző

bravery

bátorság

patriotism

hazaszeretet

romance

szerelem

frontier

határ

military school

katonai iskola

thorough

alapos

glimpse

bepillantás

harsh

szigorú, kíméletlen, kemény

discipline

fegyelem

master of words

mestere a szavaknak

gripping

magával ragadó

from cover to cover

elejétől a végéig

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