Final Matters (eBook)
Selected Poems, 2004-2010
Sobre o livro
An award-winning translator presents selections from the haunting final volumes of a leading voice in contemporary Hungarian poetry
Szilárd Borbély remains one of the most celebrated writers to emerge from post-Communist Hungary. Before his suicide in 2014, he received numerous awards in his native country, including the prestigious Attila József prize. In this volume, acclaimed translator Ottilie Mulzet reveals the full range and force of Borbélys verse by bringing together generous selections from his last two books,Final Matters andTo the Body. The original Hungarian text is set on pages facing the English translations, and the book also features an afterword by Mulzet that places the poems in literary, historical, and biographical context.
A scholar as well as a poet, Borbély weaves Hungarian folk songs, classical myths, Baroque hymns, and Christian and Jewish liturgy into his work. In her afterword, Mulzet calls this collection a blasphemous and fragmentary prayer book which challenges us to rethink the boundaries of victimhood, culpability, and our own religious and cultural definitions.Final Matters, which was written in the aftermath of the murder of Borbélys mother, is an extended meditation on death, sacrifice, and violence. In his final published work,To the Body, Borbély draws on narratives of womens livesfrom Internet chat rooms, Holocaust survivors testimonies, and theGolden Legend. Inhabiting the female voice, the poems offer glimpses of the luminous amid nearly bestial pain.
Theologically and philosophically searching yet relentlessly concrete and fully embracing the condition of late modernity, this is a moving collection that demonstrates why Borbély belongs in the company of great Central European writers.