"A tall, untidy man in a working jacket stepped
out of the flat into the veranda. He was smoking. He poured black coffee
into a glass. As he raised it to his mouth his gaze met those of the
three men, who, embarrassed by their eavesdropping, set off along the
fence. 'That's Kosztolányi,' Druma said, after a while. 'Dezső Kosztolányi.'
'The journalist?' asked one of his friends.
'I remember something he wrote,' said the second friend. 'Some poem
or other about the death of a sick child. Or was it an orphan? I don't
know. My daughter mentioned it.'
'He was a big Communist,' said Druma.
'Him?' marvelled the first friend. 'He is a devout Christian now.'
'Yes,' enlarged the second friend. 'I read it in a Viennese paper that
he supports the White Terror.'
'He was a fervent Bolshevik,' repeated Druma. 'He worked with the Committee
for Paganism. There's a photograph of them all together on the Vérmező.'
'And what was he doing with them,' enquired the first friend.
'Observing them,' answered Druma, conspiratorially.
'Then I don't understand,' the first friend shook his head. 'What does
he want in any case. Which side is he on?'
'That's simple,' Druma resolved the debate. 'He's for everybody and
nobody. He minds which way the wind blows. First he was in the pay of
the Jews and took their side, and now he is hired by the Christians.
He's a wise man,' he winked. 'He knows which side his bread is buttered.'"
(From Anna Édes, translated by George Szirtes)
"By this I mean that (your book) bears the impress
of an intense individual originality, that it has its origin in an unflinching
isolation, that it has the power to move us with a humanity so true
as actually to cause pain. Therein lies the essence of the poetic. Everything
else is academic, no matter how revolutionary its external appearance