Krzysztof Varga: Turul Goulash - book presentation

Literature

"Turul Goulash" is an essay of a book's dimensions in which Varga takes to grips with his Hungarian origin and describes his father's country in strikingly melancholic terms.

Thursday 18 February 2010, 6:00 pm

House of Art and Literature

Pécs, Széchenyi tér 7-8.

Discussion with the author: Lajos Pálfalvi.

"Turul Goulash" is an essay of a book's dimensions in which Varga takes to grips with his Hungarian origin and describes his father's country in strikingly melancholic terms. The title's 'turul', a bird of prey which is often shown on Hungarian monuments (just like the eagle in Poland) implies that the writer will address Hungary's traumatic history in the wake of the Treaty of Trianon which divided the country. 'Gulash', in turn, obviously suggests a culinary focus, and both reflect Varga's aspiration to a holistic description of the Hungarian phenomenon.

Interestingly, "Gulasz z turula" was not Varga's first 'Hungarian' book. It was preceded by "Bildungsroman", whose main character, doing the summing up of his life, could be taken to be Varga's father. The book shows Budapest as a land of lost youth, and its descriptions are graphic and sensual - a quality which is more or less pronounced in all of Varga's publications, even though it is sometimes offset by the equally strong celebration of ugliness.