RECENT BOOKS IN HUNGARIAN

ÉVA FORGÁCS: Bauhaus (Bauhaus)
2nd extended edition, Pécs, Jelenkor, 2010. 264 p.
ISBN 978 963 676 489 0

An expert biography of the Bauhaus theory, which emphasized the unity of life and art. The author portrays the Hungarian artists László Moholy-Nagy, Alfréd Forbát, Marcell Breuer, Andor Weininger and Farkas Molnár, and their ties with the school. This is set against a backdrop of the connections between the various eras, art and shop work, industrial planning, and mass production. She analyses the tragic contradictions among the basic principles of the school, and beyond those the contemporary role of the intellectuals, and the Bauhaus narrative as it was censored and supervised by Gropius. The new chapters of the second extended and reworked edition are about Hannes Meyer, a member of the one time VHUTEMAS of Moscow, and the afterlife of Bauhaus.

ESZTER GÁBOR: Az Andrássy út körül (Around Andrássy Street)
Budapest, Osiris Publishing Company, 2010. 504 p.
ISBN 978 963 276 053 7

This monograph portrays one of Budapest’s leading nineteenth century areas – Andrássy Street and the attached villa district, with an emphasis on its construction and social history. A colourful history of one of the most important surviving architectural units of the Hungarian capital, and a portrait of the builders and those responsible for the buildings, based on largely newly discovered sources. The district became a favourite residential area for the aristocracy and the upper middle class, and the builders and designers were among the most prominent of the era, including Hungarian masters working in the Gesamtkunstwerk style, such as Miklós Ybl and Albert Schickedanz.

IVÁN NYUSZTAY: Az önazonosság alakváltozásai az abszurd drámában – Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter és Tom Stoppard (Metamorphoses of Identity in Absurd Drama)
Budapest, L’Harmattan, 2010. 205 p.
ISBN 978 963 236 279 3

The impact of the innovative and inventive art of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard can still be felt today. This book introduces the history of the origins of the Absurd, and touches upon the most important and notable changes it underwent. Besides the drama history and the genre theory approach, we get an insight into the fruitful relationship between drama and philosophy. The basic differences and similarities between the writers are examined through a study of the changes in their self-awareness. The book also attempts to determine the borders of the Absurd, and analyses the transition from the Absurd to the world of tragicomedy.

GÉZA PÁLFFY: A Magyar Királyság és a Habsburg Monarchia a 16. században (The Hungarian Kingdom and the Habsburg Monarchy in the 16th Century)
Budapest, Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2010. 564 p. (Historia könyvtár, 27.)
ISBN 978 963 9627 31 4

This book is based on little known material, and explores the sixteenth century relationship system based on rich, newly discovered sources. The book primarily analyzes the process after the battle of Mohács in 1526, when the remainder of the Hungarian state not occupied by the Ottoman Turks united or attempted to unite with a central European state assembled by the Habsburgs, made up of a combination of German-Austrian, Hungarian, and Czech territories.

IBOLYA CS. PLANK – VIRÁG HAJDÚ – PÁL RITOÓK: Fény és forma. Modern építészet és fotó 1927–1950 (Light and Shape. Modern Architecture and Photography 1927–1950)
Budapest, Vince Publishing, 2010. 307 p.
ISBN 978 963 303 006 6

The early modern architecture movement reached its peak in the 1930s in Hungary, as in other countries. The works of the mostly Bauhaus-trained builders rejuvenated both the fine arts, and architectural photography. This volume, through the interaction of photography and contemporary
architecture, also attempts to answer the question: what was the purpose, the possibilities of depicting the built-up environment; and how did autonomous photographic art change and fulfill its visual language. The rich illustration material of the book was selected by the authors mostly from the Budapest collections of Tivadar Kozelka and Zoltán Seidner.

CSABA PLÉH: A lélektan története (The History of Psychology)
Budapest, Osiris Publishing Company, 2010. 652 p.
ISBN 978 963 276 052 0

This is a history of disciplinary and professional psychology between 1850 and 2000. The author demonstrates the fruitful connections between a profession which dealt with man as a whole, and the life and social sciences. The intellectual transformations are tied to the social transformations and the tensions they caused. The intellectual and social movements of the time are portrayed through the lives and conflicts of psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Ferenc Mérei, and Imre Hermann.

SÁNDOR RADNÓTI: Jöjj és láss! – A modern művészetfogalom keletkezése – Winckelmann és a következmények (Come and See! – The Origin of Modern Concepts of Art – Winckelmann and the consequences)
Budapest, Atlantis Publishing, 2010. 573 p. (Master School)
ISBN 978 963 9777 07 1

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1711–1768) created the archaeology of the classics and of modern art history. The monograph reconstructs the process of how Winckelmann influenced Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, and altered their philosophical theories. Examples include the identification with persons of different eras, with their works of art, autopsy (the demands of the artwork as seen through their own eyes) the cultural sphere, originality, the Baroque, and aesthetic taste. A separate chapter deals with the effects Winckelmann had on Hungary.

Retorikai lexikon (A Rhetorical Encyclopaedia) Edited by: TAMÁS ADAMIK
Bratislava, Kalligram Publishing, 2010. 1296 p. (Anthropos books)
ISBN 978 80 8101 344 7)

This encyclopedia – compiled by the Latin, Greek, and current Hungarian Language Departments of the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities – is unique in international academic literature. The book does not deal only with the concept of rhetoric, but contains a wealth of articles by great public speakers as well as scholars dealing with rhetoric, well furnished with a bibliography.

GÁBOR UJVÁRY: A harmincharmadik nemzedék. Politika, kultúra és történettudomány a „neobarokk társadalomban” (The Thirty-third Generation. Politics, Culture, and Historical Science in the “Neo-Baroque Society”)
Budapest, Ráció Publishing, 2010. 543 p. Publications of the History section of the Kodolányi
János University, 1.
ISBN 978 963 9605 96 1

This volume examines the politics of culture and science in Hungary between the two World Wars. It discusses in detail the paradox that the trauma caused by Hungary’s loss of territories after the First World War initiated a positive process regarding the modernization of Hungarian cultural organizations, and the rejuvenation of Hungarian institutions abroad. It deals in detail with the two decisive cultural politicians of the era: Kunó Klebelsberg with his large scale political strategies, and his successor, the more pragmatic Bálint Hóman. In addition, there are sensitive biographies of decisive figures in cultural life like the historians Dávid Angyal and Gyula Szekfu, and the art historian Tibor Gerevich.

ÁGNES R. VÁRKONYI: Európa Zrínyije. Válogatott tanulmányok (The Zrínyi of Europe. Selected studies)
Budapest, Argumentum Publishing, 2010. 442 p.
ISBN 978 963 4465 522

At the time of the wars of liberation from the Turks, during the spring of 1664, Europe echoed with the name of the Governor (ban) of Croatia Miklós Zrínyi. “No other Hungarian historical individual has ever received such international acclaim, or been identified as Zrínyi was as the hope of the Christian world, and of the future of Europe.” In her studies, the author seeks answers to the following questions: “What was the secret of Zrínyi’s presence in Europe? How was it forged? What did it contain? And why was this presence forgotten, denied, and buried?” The study shows Zrínyi in a new light, and portrays the political activities and the political culture which bears his name.

ANTAL BABITS: Végtelen ösvények. Zsidó bölcselet és misztika (Endless Trails. Jewish Wisdom and Mysticism)
Budapest, Gabbiano Print Ltd., 2010. 360 p.
ISBN 978 963 8879 10 3

The studies in this volume discuss, in great detail, the strict rules deeply rooted in tradition, and their connection to sacred Jewish thinking, its liberalism and its teaching methods. The studies help to explain those intellectual positions which to this day prejudice the approach to mysticism. The central theme of the book is the mutual influence between Jewish philosophy and mysticism, as interpreted and visualized by the genius, Széfer Jecírá, (The Book of Creation), based on which the author explains in detail the most significant factors that occurred in the three hundred years following the appearance of the work.

Bonum et pulchrum. Essays in Art History in Honour of Erno Marosi on His Seventieth Birthday. Edited by LIVIA VARGA, LÁSZLÓ BEKE, ANNA JÁVOR, PÁL LOVEI, IMRE TAKÁCS.
Academy of Sciences, 2010. 566 p. Budapest, Institute for Art History of the Hungarian
ISBN 978 963 7381 97 3

The research volume celebrates one of the most significant Hungarian art historians of our day, Erno Marosi, on his seventieth birthday. Many studies deal with his works in this volume, analyzing in detail the idea of place, and its progressive role in Hungarian art history studies, which have served to rejuvenate the concept of national monument protection. As a teacher, Erno Marosi not only established a school, but became the inspiration for many generations of art historians. The backbone of this book is made up of the research of the last forty years and deals primarily with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It was written specifically for this occasion by his Hungarian and foreign students, as well as admirers such as Xavier Barral i Altat, Roland Recht, Gerhard Schmidt, Miklós Boskovics, Heinrich Dilly, and Robert Suckale. There is also a bibliography of his scholarly works.

ISTVÁN CSUPOR: Céhes kerámiák (Guild Ceramics)
Budapest, Ethnographical Museum, 2010. 231. p. (The article catalogues of the Ethnographical Museum, 16.)
ISBN 963 944 232 1

The latest catalogue of the noted collection of the Ethnographical Museum of Budapest presents an interesting group of objects. Guild ceramics are uniquely informative and beautiful items from the life of the guilds, and are part of a quality collection which sheds light on the less familiar life of the guilds. Hungarian industry up until the new trade laws of 1872 was craft oriented. The unusually high standard of handicraft knowledge within guild organizations was always a determining factor, and for a long time placed it at the forefront of domestic industry. Guild ceramics also shed light on everyday life and feast days. Among the guild pitchers, one stems back to the seventeenth century (1625), 57 to the eighteenth century, and the nineteenth century is represented by 83 guild bowls.

VILMOS GÁL: Világkiállító magyarok (International Exhibiting Hungarians)
Budapest, Holnap Publishing, 2010. 232 p.
ISBN 13 978 963 3469 08 8

This richly illustrated book celebrates Hungarian participation and successes in World Fairs held between 1851 and 2010. It relates the successes of technical instruments in the twenty-twoheld in the last century, and shows domestic, cultural, industrial, and agricultural development through artwork. There are descriptions of the more important events, persons, and new products, as well as early official reports and catalogues, information from the daily papers, and works from the fine and applied arts; personalities, events and objects from science, technology, and architecture are also introduced.

CSABÁNÉ HERGER: Polgári állam és egyházi autonómia a 19. században (The Civil State and Ecclesiastical Autonomy in the Nineteenth Century)
Budapest, New Mandate Books, 2010. 335 p. (The Habsburg historical monographies, 10.)
ISBN 963 287 031 1

This is a detailed study of the internal reform and modernization efforts, politics and lawmaking of Hungary’s large congregations (Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran). The need to clarify the legal ties
between state and church only became an acute problem with the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. There were only two possibilities facing Hungarian liberals led by Ferenc Deák and József Eötvös: in a country governed by a Constitution, the state either practices influence equally over all denominations, or allows them to function absolutely freely. The monograph demonstrates the lawmaking process, the Parliamentary and Committee arguments, the Political reasoning that lies behind them, and also the internal arguments that divide the ecclesiastic leadership.

LUCA PONCELLINI – JÚLIA CSEJDY: Hudec László (László Hudec)
Budapest, Holnap Publishing, 2010. 172 p. (Masters of Construction)
ISBN 13 978 963 3469 24 8

László Hudec, (Besztercebánya, 1893 – Berkeley, 1958) is considered one of the most renowned architects his age, first and foremost in China, but also worldwide. Until now, we knew little about the origin of this extraordinary oeuvre of architecture, associated with many dozen art deco buildings, China’s first attempt at regionalized construction, and the building of the first skyscraper in Asia. Hudec escaped from captivity as a prisoner of war in Russia in 1918, and ended up in Shanghai. His allincorporating style, which ranged from the historical to the most up-to-date, western European trends, quickly became popular. He designed several trademark buildings of the city (Park Hotel, Grand Theatre, the house of Dr. Woo). After Switzerland and Italy, (where he participated in the Saint Petersburg Basilica explorations) he emigrated to America in 1947, where he continued his work.

PÉTER ROSTÁS: Mágnások lakberendezője. A Friedrich Otto Schmidt lakberendező ház története (1858–1918) (Interior Decorator of the Aristocrats. The History of the Friedrich Otto Schmidt House (1858–1918)
Budapest, Geopen Publishing, 2010. 440 p.
ISBN 9789639973107

Miksa Schmidt is a celebrated creator of furniture and interior designer from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, and the director of the Friedrich Otto Schmidt firm. This book makes use of rich new sources and fine illustrations to show the history of one of the most significant interior design companies of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The company, founded in 1858, was a leading player in the public life of applied arts and crafts until the turn of the century. It executed virtually all the early works of Adolf Loos (1897–1903) and furnished the Secession building in Vienna. The company also had close ties to the most renowned commercial artists of Europe (from Henry Van de Velde to Louis Émile Gallé and Bernhard Pankok), as well as their galleries and museums. Its reputation was enhanced by the fact that through exact copies of furniture, real and artificial stone accessories, they supplied historical style interior furnishings for members of the Habsburg family and for the upper class of the Monarchy.

ZOLTÁN SZENDI: Lélek és kép. Világkép és kompozíció Thomas Mann kisepikájában (Soul and Image. World Concept and Composition from the Small Epic of Thomas Mann)
Pécs, Pro Pannonia, 2010. 197 p.
ISBN 963 85579 6 6

This book focuses on 32 works of Thomas Mann over six decades. In the first twenty years of his career, he wrote 25 narratives, while in the four decades that followed (1912 to 1953), he wrote just seven. The book analyzes the entire narrative work which came about either as the prelude to a large novel or as an offshoot of it. The works are not discussed in the order in which they were written, but rather according to theme or motivation. In the Thomas Mann archives in Zurich, the author studied in detail the original manuscripts, their textual variations, sentences or passages omitted from the final versions, and built the lessons of his research into this monograph. The result is a more nuanced and deeper understanding of Mann’s work. This is an extremely sensitive study of the spiritual rather than the psychological connections.

Színlelés és rejtőzködés. A kora újkori magyar politika szerepjátékai (Simulation and concealment. Role Plays in Early Modern Hungarian Politics) Edited by: NÓRA G. ETÉNYI AND ILDIKÓ HORN.
Budapest, L’Harmattan Publishing, 2010. 378 p.
ISBN 978 963 236 252 6

Simulation and dissimulation are effective and spectacular devices of early modern politics – a demonstration of non existent principles which hide the true goals, ambitions and conditions. An everwidening audience in a position to observe the techniques of decision making made it necessary for the elite to develop sophisticated ways to hide their true goals and identities. Members of Hungarian political society were familiar with and adopted the culture of the European state order to attain their long-term goals. They wove their intrigues in the ruling residences and courtyards of the nobility, in diplomatic events and ceremonies, to maintain contact between different parts of the country, and to advance their individual and family careers. With the help of original research, this book presents a broader picture of individual aspects of sixteenth and seventeenth century Hungarian political life, and the use of fast-evolving techniques to shape public opinion.

A világváros Budapest – két századfordulón (Budapest, the Metropolis of the World – At the Turn of Two Centuries) GYÖRGYI BARTA, KRISZTINA KERESZTÉLY, ANDRÁS SIPOS.
Budapest, Napvilág Publishing, 2010. 380 p.
ISBN 978 963 9697 72 0

This book compares the Budapest of 1900 to the city of 2000. Public opinion considers the Budapest of the era of Dualism as a kind of yardstick. That was the time when the capital developed its valuable and still attractive cityscape. This was made possible by a change of political system which guaranteed a favourable political tailwind for efforts to transform dynamic but unplanned city growth into planned and deliberate expansion and development. On new foundations, Budapest associated itself with Europe. Since Budapest was the country’s outstanding political state organizer at the turn of both centuries, as well as the centre of economics and innovations, this comparative analysis allows us to study the economic and social conditions of Hungary in its entirety. Budapest’s expanding network of international connections is analyzed in four main areas at the turn of both centuries: from the point of view of the economy, transportation and communication, city development and political cultures, as well as the social structure of the city, its ability to accommodate the population, and its sustainability.

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