Literary roundup: the other kind of literary agents


A new Prague-based international literary magazine has just come out. B O D Y is run by editors Joshua Mensch, Christopher Crawford, Stephan Delbos and contains a selection of poetry, fiction and an essay on three neglected American women poets from the early 20th century by poet, writer and translator Richard Jackson.

Hungary’s literary espionage industry

While reading about current Hungarian politics and culture can be distressing it is worth remembering that political intereference in cultural life is nothing new. At HLO there is a long and fascinating article on a new book by Tamás Szőnyei on the “informers who specialized in literary life” (as someone who tries to inform people on literary life in Hungary among other former communist countries I would like to emphasize the differences between “informers” and those who inform – e.g. informers are paid [just kidding, there are more significant differences]).

The fact that some of these secret police sources were writers produced, according to Szőnyei, some interesting reading, though the state’s interest was so purely informational that they made no distinction between writers of different quality: “Dilettante writers were observed just as diligently as the greatest ones.”

Photo – Secret service gadgetry exhibition at Czech Center in Moscow. Interceptor and other devices of the disbanded secret service of communist Czechoslovakia were exhibited at the Czech Center in Moscow in 2003. One of the exhibits, a flash tube for secret night photography hidden in a bag, with an infrared filter in the lock – a device of Soviet design and manufacture. Photograph by Dmitry Korobeinikov / Дмитрий Коробейников, RIA Novosti/Wikimedia

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Categories: Magazines


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