At the point of its creation in 1873, Budapest was intended to be a pleasant rallying point of orderliness, high culture and elevated social principles: the jewel in the national crown. From the turn of the century to World War II, however, the Hungarian capital was described, variously, as: Judapest, the sinful city, not in Hungary, and the Chicago of the Balkans. This is the first English-language study of competing metropolitan narratives in Hungarian literature that spans both the liberal late Habsburg and post-liberal, ‘Christian-national’ eras, at the same time as the ‘Jewish Question’ became increasingly inseparable from representations of the city. Works by writers from a wide variety of backgrounds are discussed, from Jewish satirists to icons of the radical Right, representatives of conservative national schools, and modernist, avant-garde and ‘peasantist’ authors.
Gwen Jones is Hon. Research Associate at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London.
Table of Contents
Translations and Terminology x
Budapest by District xi
1 Introduction 1
2 Becoming pesti at the Turn of the Century 16
3 Fragments (I) 41
4 Revolutions and Conquest 60
5 Fragments (II) 90
6 Private Misery, Public Conflict 108
7 Conclusion 135