Monday, May 10, 2004

Eastern Bloc Scribblers 

When I've visited the States, I'm often asked about that mysterious netherworld I've just flown from -- namely, Hungary. After the embarrassing question (Do you speak Hungarian well? Uh, no, hardly at all.), I'm asked about the literary scene here. There's a lore around Eastern Europe, comparing it to Paris in the 1920s, which isn't exactly appropriate. There are expat writers here, sure, but not as many as you'd expect.

Attempting to look at this scene, and to see if it even exists, my friend Erik D'Amato (pictured with his wife, Janet) wrote about it in his Budapest Times column, "The Stink". You might be interested in checking out part one, and then part two. The links are to Erik's site, because for some reason they make you sign in to even look at the Budapest Times front page.

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