Literary roundup: The Szentkuthy renaissance and Odessan letters

At Hungarian Literature Online (HLO) there is a very thorough summary of the efforts by translator Tim Wilkinson and Contra Mundum Press to bring Hungarian writer Miklós Szentkuthy (1908–1988) into the international prominence many feel he deserves. The latest Szentkuthy work published in English is his Marginalia on Casanova, with Towards the One & Only Metaphor coming out in August 2013.

According to the article it sounds like there is much to be expected from the writer’s diary, the first part of which (1932-1947) is being opened this year, though I don’t understand the math involved in the diary being sealed for 30 years and it being opened 25 years after the writer’s death, but whatever.

Odessan dust

Just as thorough and informative is the New Yorker’s look at Odessa’s literary culture by way of the Odessa Literary Museum, mention of which has appeared in these pages before as well. First of all, a literary museum started by a former K.G.B. agent is too good to pass up on (as opposed to what some of the other former K.G.B. agents have gotten up to in their second careers). Then there is the wealth of Odessa literary trivia: not only who wrote what there, but who burnt what manuscript there, along with some great anecdotes – Joseph Brodsky coming to town for film work and having his scenes left on the cutting room floor or Mayakovsky suffering from an unrequited love there.

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