Peter Nadás and Péter Esterházy are both Hungarian, both European, both world-renown writers. They share the same language, culture, country, and city: Budapest. History is the motor driving both men’s writing. Which history? The history of their unusual fates, of course, but also the history of their country. History with a capital H. The history of Hungary from World War II to today.

 

Peter Nadas’ work explores the underground strata of Hungarian memory. He contrasts the shadows of a world devastated by war and by dictatorships.

 

In the late 1970s, Peter Esterhazy ushered in a new era in Hungarian literature. Balancing irony and gravity, his novels recreate the whimsical and yet overwhelming history of his family, one of the most illustrious of the Hungarian aristocracy. This dynasty’s fate is closely intertwined with Hungary’s.

 

The elucidation of the past and comprehension of the present begin with these writers’ words as they artfully weave their personal and individual experience with the history of their nation.