Konrád György emlékezete (1933–2019)
In Memoriam György Konrád (1933−2019)
The paper written on the occasion of György Konrád’s death wishes to briefly revisit the multiple directions of the writer’s career. It was his novel The Visitor which imploded into the Hungarian literary life and signaled Konrád’s way going against the value system of the official party state. In 1969, he also debuted as a sociologist, with his book in manuscript (co-authored by Iván Szelényi) on the paths of intelligentsia, which ended in a legal procedure. After that, Konrád was not allowed to publish in Hungary for a decade and a half, while his works were published abroad, making him one of the best known representatives of Hungarian prose fiction. As of the eighties, his essays on politics and philosophy of history gained more attention than his novels, in his volume Antipolitics (1985) he predicted that East and Central Europe might be liberated, in a peaceful way, from the Soviet pressure. A leading figure of the 1989 transformation, his international standing is reflected in his roles as the president of International PEN Club, then the Berlin-Brandenburg Art Academy in the nineties. Of his late prose fiction, Departure and Homecoming (2001) received, again, significant critical recognition. His life and work can be characterized by the concept of freedom – referring to his personal and fortunate liberations from the grip of Holocaust, from dictatorships and half-dictatorships, as well as his conviction that the circles of freedom are always ready to be broadened.