Hungarian Rhapsodies

Essays on Ethnicity, Identity, and Culture

Richard Teleky

  • $30.00s paperback (9780295976068) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1997
  • Subject Listing: Literary Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 256 pp., 6 photos
  • Territorial rights: N/A in Canada
  • Contents

Like the renowned American writer Edmund Wilson, who began to learn Hungarian at the age of 65, Richard Teleky started his study of that difficult language as an adult. Unlike Wilson, he is a third-generation Hungarian American with a strong desire to understand how his ethnic background has affected the course of his life. "Exploring my ethnicity," he writes, "became a way of exploring the arbitrary nature of my own life. It was not so much a search for roots as for a way of understanding rootlessness - how I stacked up against another way of being." He writes with clarity, perception, and humor about a subject of importance to many Americans - reconciling their contemporary identity with a heritage from another country.

From an examination of photographer Andre Kertesz to a visit to a Hungarian American church in Cleveland, from a consideration of stereotypical treatment of Hungarians in North American fiction and film to a description of the process of translating Hungarian poetry into English, Teleky's interests are wide-ranging. he concludes with an account of his first visit to Hungary at the end of Soviet rule.

"Teleky has been able to link Hungary and what he calls Hungarian-ness to universal culture, the universally human."
-Louis J. Elteto

"A splended book on all counts..This is the rare sort of work that opens up the innder life and its ambiguities and tensions of a people (and its emigrant descendants) to outsiders and makes us realize we've been waiting for a long time."
-M. L. Rosenthal

A Note on Hungarian Names

Playtime: Adult Language Learning, Edmund Wilson, and Me

"What the Moment Told Me": The Photographs of Andre Kertesz

The Archives of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Without Words: Hungarians in North American Fiction

The Empty Box: Hollywood Ethnicity and Joe Eszterhas

A Short Dictionary of Hungarian Stereotypes and Kitsch

Visiting Pannonia

Toward a Course on Central European Literature in Translation

The Poet as Translator: Margaret Avison's "Hungarian Snap"

Introducing Peter Esterhazy

"What Comes After": Hungarian Voices, Summer 1993

The Third Generation and the "Problem" of Ethnicty