Friday, July 15, 2016

Péter Esterházy: Greetings from Heaven – Swedish Dagbladet

Péter Esterházy died on Thursday after a long period of illness. Photo: Zoltan Balogh / AP

When I received the news Péter Esterházy away once I am newly awake and find myself in the middle of the treacherous sense of världsfrånvändhet which can sometimes appear in the summer, when the biggest problem seems to be that it is too cold to swim in the bay of Vänern where the holiday.

But the morning offers a double shock: in addition to Esterházy’s death has been another terrorist attack in Europe, this time in Nice. The two events have nothing to do with each, still reading my brain them together: an outstanding writer is dead and there has been another attack on democratic society.

Péter Esterházy was both a great writer as a important intellectual voice in society. One who sees more, people are listening to. A sovereign, civilized voice in Hungary, whose vocabulary from ruling politicians are increasingly vulgarised.

When I met Péter Esterházy in Budapest last year, there had just been two terrorist attacks in Europe , Paris and Copenhagen. In Hungary, Putin just made a state visit, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has launched the concept of “illiberal democracy.” Péter Esterházy spoke of how contemporary life associated with the past, on Hungary’s constant sense of alienation and how he hoped his senses in Hungary, where the government party Fidesz policies have become increasingly nationalistic and xenophobic.

We talked about development in today’s Hungary, where one dreams back to the old days, but the EU, and cultural climate has hardened considerably in recent years, not least because of the much criticized media laws and an increasingly nationalist grip on the culture.

Péter Esterházy spoke with love and concern in his voice about the frightening developments in the country. A bit like a concerned father who wants to take her child in the ear, but do not leave it in the lurch, whatever happens. “Do not you to leave the country, as many intellectuals have already done?” I asked. “No, I would rather say that the government should leave me, I’m not the country. I was here first, “said Péter Esterházy.

And it is to Péter Esterházy represents a legacy, and that his literary contribution to Hungary’s collective memory. The family has for centuries been of great importance for the country’s fate. For example, Peter Esterhazy grandfather the last Hungarian head of government in the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy. Most of Esterházy novels dealing precisely genealogy and family fortunes, but they always hold more than just the personal.

The mammoth work “Harmonia Caelestis” (2000) portrayed the family’s history, from Austria-Hungary’s great days of the communist era, when they lost everything. Successor “corrected edition” (2002) is about the discovery of Esterházy own father had been an informer for the communist period. And “Markus version” (2015) takes place in the Hungarian countryside during the 1950 first year, where the family displaced by reason of their birth.

Péter Esterházy commented himself to his family affiliation as follows: “The involves a very tight affinity with the country’s history. And when it’s a big family, it also means an affinity with European history. So if I tell a family story is admittedly a minority history, but a history that belongs to the country or even a transnational history. “

At the border is a word you can also use if Péter Esterházy literature. For it is obvious that the author he should primarily be remembered. As the magnificent, ever Nobel Prize Tipped, who played with words and sentences, mixed autobiographical elements with fiction and also brought in football in finlitteraturen. Full Péter Esterházy author deed breathe narrative zest and linguistic richness, both in width and depth. He is a writer who always did as he wished, and in his very own way.

The last email I got from Péter Esterházy was completed with the phrase “Dear greetings from heaven.” He knew he was sick, but wrote no details. We did not each much, had only met once and then had e-mail contact, albeit a very friendly one.

And today when the sun continues to shine as if nothing happened and the water in the bay warms up suddenly begins church bells sounded over our bay of Vänern. It is apparently funeral in the village church. I think of clocks as a greeting, a dear greeting up to heaven.

Cecilia Hansson is a writer and translator. She is currently working on a book of interviews of Central Europe which will be published by Nature & amp; Culture in the spring of 2017.

Péter Esterházy

Péter Esterházy is considered one of the most significant Hungarian writers during the 1900s. He was born in 1950 in a uradlig family, which in conjunction with the municipality last Party to power was stripped of its riches. His books often depict just life under the communist regime and have been translated into over 20 languages. On the Swedish include “Markus version” (2015) “Down the Danube” (1994), “Harmonia Caelestis” (2004), “corrected edition” (2005), “No art” (2010) and “Esti” (2014 ). Esterházy died on Thursday after a long period of illness.


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