Jugendstil Novel ISBN 9783867890014 160 pages
»It’s pointless for me to excuse myself for not recognizing Feri K. when he suddenly came my way on Wednesday, September 26, at the corner of Oktogon and Andrásy Street,where Savoy Restaurant used to be and where Burger King now offers its modest fare.«
Robert Singer, deputy director of an »Institute for Jugenstil« in Vienna, runs into an old classmate one day when out for a walk in his native city of Budapest. The encounter takes the fi rst-person narrator back in time, to the years 1961 and 1962.
Feri K. walks off, and the words »Gargarin Club« suddenly blaze before his eyes like a neon sign. He instantly recalls the varied ideological standpoints on Georg Lukács or the jokes back then about Nikita Khrushchev. The story revolves around former Hungary, the atmosphere in the capital just a few years after the uprising, and how a dreamy boy grows up in this environment and what this environment does to him.
Robert is a glowing Young Communist active in his school, and yet time and again he feels the stigma of being not only a bourgeois but also a Jew. His tender love to classmate Ilona ultimately falls prey to these prejudices.
After their chance meeting in Budapest, Feri K. bids farewell with the words: »Strange – if I hadn’t hated you as a Jew and Communist, we could have even been friends.«
György Daloswas born in Budapest and now lives as a freelance writer in Berlin. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2000 Presidential Gold Medal of the Republic of Hungary and the 2010 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding. Rotbuch has also published his works »The Lay of the Land« (1979), »1985« (1982), »Short Training, Long March« (1985), the story »Balaton Brigade« (2006) and the novel »Jugendstil« (2007).