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László Szabolcs

László Szabolcs, born 1987 in Romania. Studies in Bucharest and Budapest. Short stories, essays, translations from Romanian and English, reviews for literary journals. Editor for Central European University Press and member of the József Attila Circle (JAK). László Szabolcs, 1987 in Rumänien geboren, studierte in Bukarest und Budapest. Er schreibt Kurzgeschichten, Essays, Literaturkritiken und Übersetzungen aus dem Rumänischen ins Englische. Außerdem ist er Redakteur bei der Central European University Pres und Mitglied des József Attila Kreis (JAK).

László Szabolcs, born 1987 in Romania. Studies in Bucharest and Budapest. Short stories, essays, translations from Romanian and English, reviews for literary journals. Editor for Central European University Press and member of the József Attila Circle (JAK).

László Szabolcs, 1987 in Rumänien geboren, studierte in Bukarest und Budapest. Er schreibt Kurzgeschichten, Essays, Literaturkritiken und Übersetzungen aus dem Rumänischen ins Englische. Außerdem ist er Redakteur bei der Central European University Pres und Mitglied des József Attila Kreis (JAK).

Biography

László Szabolcs, born 1987 in Romania. Studies in Bucharest and Budapest. Short stories, essays, translations from Romanian and English, reviews for literary journals. Editor for Central European University Press and member of the József Attila Circle (JAK).

László Szabolcs, 1987 in Rumänien geboren, studierte in Bukarest und Budapest. Er schreibt Kurzgeschichten, Essays, Literaturkritiken und Übersetzungen aus dem Rumänischen ins Englische. Außerdem ist er Redakteur bei der Central European University Pres und Mitglied des József Attila Kreis (JAK).

Blog Posts

Third Day – The Digital “East” and “West”

As announced, two main discussions at the European Literature Days were dedicated to the topic of literary trends and innovative developments in the digital field. They focused mostly on how new digital developments are affecting authors and publishers, what impact they have on the non-profit sector (like libraries), and of course, the situation of the e-book market in various countries.

Day Two – Celebrating and Questioning the Concepts We Use

Being dedicated to the topic of “the migrant,” yesterday the various literary programs at the European Literature Day in Spitz revealed a rich collection of valuable insights and reflections on the questions of identity, language, nation, homeland, exile, and the pervasive sense of otherness and alienation that can accompany our shared global interconnectedness.

Day One – Struggling with Parallel Worlds

I managed to arrive to Austria from Budapest quite uneventfully, the trains were on time, running smoothly, passengers around me chatting in several languages, as if nothing could ever disturb the calm and quiet normalcy of a borderless Europe. Yet if the European Literature Days in 2015 would have been held just over a month ago, it would have been an entirely different experience altogether.

Digital Horizons II. – Online Popularization of Poetry, Part 1

Poetry doesn’t sell too well nowadays. Perhaps it never did, really. Nonetheless, in the last two hundred years it was a highly popular cultural phenomenon, both for the elite and increasingly for the masses. Financially successful or not, poets and their often-cited, repeatedly hand-copied poems were known throughout the land, with iconic portraits of the national bards hanging in the aristocratic salons and in the bourgeois drawing rooms. More than anything else, the development of national education and curricula in the 19th century made sure to cement the canonical role and cultural reputation of a specific (mostly Romantic) concept of poetry, making it a basic element of modern life. Today, however, this age-old pedagogical approach, still focusing on the same iconic figures and texts, has trapped the very idea of poetry within a sterile amber casing, as a precious dead thing put on display. At the same time, with the immense transformations in popular culture, contemporary poetry can easily seem like a fuzzy, distant, unknown phenomenon which functions similarly to a strange subculture, the select club of the few who speak and can tolerate each other’s sophisticated, hermetic, or intertextual idiolect. No wonder that, especially in the last decades, sales for poetry volumes are down in comparison with other literary products, and their continued existence depends mostly on state subsidies and a sense of duty on the part of some publishers to engage in a cultural mission.

Digital Horizons I. – Print vs. Online Literary Journals

Presently, this complex web of texts, people, and relations we call Hungarian literature ranges from the pantheon of reclusive, almost mythical off-the-grid figures of a golden generation, to the online gallery showcasing the colorful and innovative digital identities of the various literary newcomers. As a peculiar case of the “simultaneity of the non-simultaneous,” we inhabit a cultural era in which some novelists still produce books the way their predecessors did more than hundred years ago, while popular slam poets write and read their personalized, powerful, but fleeting texts with the help of their smartphones. Already for a decade now, with the everyday normalization of internet usage, and the dynamic cohabitation of the “digital natives,” “digital immigrants,” and (for a lack of better term) “outsiders,” the literary scene goes full spectrum, with various examples in between.

The paradox of digital transformation – the Hungarian case

A recent visitor to Budapest, the novelist Jonathan Franzen, believes that we are living in a “media-saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment” which constantly gives one the feeling that the Krausian last days of humanity are near. Apocalypse notwithstanding, the American author—known for gluing off his laptop’s modem port so as not to let himself be tempted by the internet—was kind enough to accept the invitation to be the guest of honor for the 22nd International Book Festival in Budapest. He took part in several genuinely interesting and entertaining public discussions, gave a number of interviews, endured the photo sessions, signed a whole army of books, and then was free to finally do a little bird-watching in the Hungarian countryside.