by Frigyes Karinthy

Translated from the Hungarian by Thomas Cooper

Hello, Frigyes Karinthy here, journalist!

In my capacity as journalist I report the following: It is possible that as of tomorrow newspapers are going to be printed on eight pages as a consequence of the shortage of paper. If this shortage intensifies we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that within two months they will be printed on two pages, and after that on one. In the end the government will direct the paper factories to produce paper that only has one side. It is our task to ensure that each column should remain intact. This of course will be difficult. We will have to narrow the frames. We must limit ourselves to the essentials. As a conscientious and prudent journalist it is fitting that I should practice this style. It is my pleasure to offer you, kind editor, the following essays. The paper will look like this, it will be published like this. Every column will appear:

Leading article: Hungarian concerns: The pap. shrtge is bynomns as thrtning, as many imgn.

Feuilleton. – A life. Written by F. K. – The midwife came out of the other room smiling. “A boy!” she said cheerfully. Paul Kurt heaved a sigh. “Thank the Lord,” he cried out, “his name will be Peter.” Peter Kurt burbled plaintively in the cradle, and a few years later everyone marveled at his beautiful velvet coat. He was a beautiful blond little boy. “Pete, Pete!” his mother would yell at him, as he played in the children’s room. At this sound he raised his curly-haired little head and ten years later he got his high school diploma. The years at the university went by like a dream. One day Peter was lounging about in his rented room. “Eh, what’s life anyway?” he whispered to himself with a wave of his hand, and fifteen years later he accepted the position of district physician in the city of Tapolca. The girl tremblingly tore at the whispering leaves of the acacia tree and looked at Peter. Peter slowly pulled the girl’s head towards him, kissed her, and their child, Charles, they enlisted in the military school when he was fifteen. “In fact I wanted to say,” Peter remarked about this, but then he was silent, because it occurred to him that he had died two years earlier. The end.

Daily News: Suicidal painter. Painter P. Smith was in love with Jolán G. He did not explain his act, nor did he leave a letter. – Run over. In a great hurry factory worker G. Fischer wanted to cross the street in front of tram 827. His funeral will be tomorrow afternoon from the Rókus hospital. – Convicted of price gouging. Katalin Bauer sold eggs at an inflated price. She will pay for it. – Swindling civil servant. Samu S. wanted to make off with quite a bundle, the police are searching for him. – Hotel thief. Obsessive coat-collector Fuchs claims to be sincerely penitent. He was put in penitentiary. Lunatic on the streets. According to the doctors his power of observation is unimpaired. Taken in for observation. – Literature. Leó Ábránd: The Epic of War, in nine volumes. Rubbish. – Tribunal. The tribunal sentenced John Smith, Susan Tripper, Aloysius Miller, Gergely Hussar, Béla Krackauer, Adam Withering, and Árpád Finebutter (?) to 89 years, altogether, in prison. The condemned resigned themselves to the sentence and lodged an appeal.

Column from here and there. – The flea. The flea is stronger than the elephant, because if the elephant were a flea, it wouldn’t be able to jump so high.

Original gramophone recording from the second half of the 1930s. From the bequest of Loránt Basch.

Frigyes & Ferenc Karinthy in English

Frigyes (Frederiko) Karinthy (1887-1938) en Esperanto

Futurology, Science Fiction, Utopia, and Alienation
in the Work of Imre Madách, György Lukács, and Other Hungarian Writers:
Select Bibliography

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Uploaded 21 May 2021

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