nevertheless one can speak of us, as of a missing generation.


It is exactly 15 years ago that the Book of Young Writers was published in 1989 by Holnap Kiadó for the Week of Books. The collection, which was edited by József P. Kőrössi and József Takáts, contains the writings  of nineteen young authors – most of whom have not yet been published: József Balog, Szilárd Borbély, László Darvasi, János Háy, Ottó Hévizi, Ferenc Horkay Hörcher, István Kalász, Csaba Károlyi, István Kemény, Zoltán Kis, Imre Kósa, János Kurdi Fehér, Imre Kurdi, Tivadar Krausz, Júlia Lázár, Szilárd Podmaniczky, Bálint Solymosi, István Szántó and Ferenc Szijj. The oldest were born in 1959, the youngest in 1964 – we call most of them young writers because of the “delay” typical of their generation.
As always when it comes to such a collection, the editors have been criticised, but everyone agreed that this was a representative, carefully chosen selection of writings. One of the critics (Ernő Szabó Endrődi) called this age group a generation that does not fight, others seemed to recognise a certain similarity among the authors in being too rational, characterised by a lack of emotions, while for a TV journalist, it was the fundamental paradigms of national literature that were missing from all of the works. The writers themselves , however, mentioned only the fact  that they all belonged to the same age group. Some of them (e.g. László Darvasi, András Ferenc Kovács, László Márton) assimilated to older writers, some (István Kemény, Szilárd Podmaniczky, Bálint Solymosi) to younger ones. Several of them have produced significant works, some have become dominant authors in the past 15 years, however, it is not possible to speak of the 40s generation as such, nevertheless one can speak of us, as of  a missing generation. Still, most of the writers in this collection belong to the mainstream of literary life, but even those who did not get very far, never left behind the world of culture. Some are less prolific (Júlia Lázár, István Kalász, Tivadar Krausz), while others, having tried themselves at philosophic writing, make now excursions in the field of literature (István F. Szántó, Ferenc Horkay Hörcher). Some have left the world of literature to turn to science and essay writing (Ottó Hévizi), some became translators. (Imre Kurdi), and there is also someone who, apart from working as a critic, is also actively involved in literature as an editor (Csaba Károlyi). A few, among them Ferenc Szijj and László Darvasi, have written wonderful children’s books, although the former is an excellent poet, the latter an excellent prose writer. There were others who remained faithful to their first steps (Szilárd Borbély, István Kemény, Bálint Solymosi). Some discovered the true expression of their personality in media or cultural management (Zoltán Kis, József Balog, János Kurdi Fehér), and there is one, who is good at almost every genre: films, short stories, poems and novels (Szilárd Podmaniczky). There was only one among us who took his hat and said a final goodbye, but that goodbye was not only said to literature (Imre Kósa).

Translated by Fruzsina Balkay


  © All rights belong to the authors or their heirs. 2004.