Magyars in the Capital of Modernity: Geopoetical Meanings of Paris in 20th century’s Hungarian Literature

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Zoltán Z. Varga


The history of Hungarian literary modernity seems to confirm Pascale Casanova's famous but much – debated thesis on the Paris – centered structure of world litera­ture and its impact on the birth of national modernities all over the world. Endre Ady’s Új versek (New Poetry) of 1906 was a landmark for modern Hungarian litera­ture, and the volume sets up a mythological landscape of Paris as opposed to the cultural belatedness of the Globus Hungaricus at that time. From that moment, generations of young Hungarian writers made their pilgrim to the French capital seeking for consecration to be a modern artist often to import innovative artistic and cultural ideas to their homeland. The chapter surveys and analyzes the changing meanings of Paris in Hungarian literary texts and the ambiguous effects of literary and social – cultural modernization’s attempts from the beginning of the 20th cen­tury to the Hungarian Neo – avantgarde movements in the seventies.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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World Literature and National Literature