Sándor Szathmári. Utazás Kazohiniában. Budapest. Magyar Elet. 1946. 346 pages.— The demoniacal character of life invites writers to a pathetic or sardonic interpretation of human existence. For the genuine satirist reality needs no obvious caricaturing in order to be authentic; it is sufficient to combine actualities with plausibilities, and the result is inevitably satirical. Sándor Szathmári‘s novel, following the pattern of Swift’s Gulliver's Travels, rails at modern reality. It is significant that the book is a best-seller in Hungary. The illusions and delusions of present-day Hungarian readers induce them to enjoy “distortion,” because it seems to mirror truth. There are times when sick people like to read about sick people.
In Szathmári’s novel, Gulliver faces a world of technological perfection and soullessness. It resembles the world that Aldous Huxley portrayed in Brave New World. Gulliver wishes to understand man’s soul, but facing this task would enhance the meaning of human ambition and struggle. The rulers of the “new society” consider him anti-social. He is punished by being sent to a land—some sort of concentration camp—in which people still possess a soul. But these “soulful” people live a confused, incredible, tortured, and tormenting life, which convinces Gulliver that their “soul” is antithetical to everything that is identified with common sense. After this nightmare-experience he is eager to return to his country.
Szathmári’s satirical novel is longer than it should be and has defects of composition. But it presents an amusing, amazing, weird, and in parts distinctly original vision of a universe in which man has allowed himself to be mesmerized by selfishness, stupidity, greed, and empty but dangerous phrases. —Joseph Remenyi. Western Reserve University.
SOURCE: Remenyi, Joseph. Review: Utazás Kazohiniában by Sándor Szathmári, Books Abroad, vol. 22, no. 1, Winter 1948, p. 94. [Postwar Hungarian edition of Voyage to Kazohinia.]
Sándor Szathmári. Utazás Kazohiniában. Budapest. Magyar Elet. 1946. 346 pp.— Another satirical Gulliver’s Travels, whose butt is the soullessness of modern society.
SOURCE: “The Once Over” [book notices]: Hungarian Miscellaneous [subheading], Books Abroad, vol. 22, no. 1, Winter 1948, p. 114.
Sándor Szathmári (1897–1974): Bibliografio & Retgvidilo / Bibliography & Web Guide
Esperanto & Interlinguistics Study Guide / Retgvidilo pri Esperanto & Interlingvistiko
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