A1 Journal article (refereed)
'So terribly opaque': Salvaging memory in three Hungarian books about World War II (2018)

Orzoy, A. (2018). 'So terribly opaque': Salvaging memory in three Hungarian books about World War II. Comparative Critical Studies, 14(2-3), 289-306. https://doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2017.0240

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Orzoy, Agnes

Journal or series: Comparative Critical Studies

ISSN: 1744-1854

eISSN: 1750-0109

Publication year: 2018

Volume: 14

Issue number: 2-3

Pages range: 289-306

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2017.0240

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access: Channel is not openly available


The three books discussed in this essay – Imre Kertész's Fatelessness, Teréz Rudnóy's Women Getting Free, and the wartime diary of Fanni Gyarmati, wife of Miklós Radnóti – all had to be salvaged from oblivion: they were suppressed, forgotten, or discovered a long time after they had been written. In this essay I will argue that, besides other factors, the reason for their mixed reception is partly related to the fact that they salvage memories that are hard to incorporate into cultural memory, ritualized by historiography and politics. I will also focus on how reading literary texts and diaries with a view to how they represent cultural memory may serve as an antidote to collective amnesia, by salvaging and bringing into play a variety of personal experiences – individual and collective – and fostering multidirectional memory.

Keywords: literature; collective memory; politics of memory; historiography; Second World War

Free keywords: rediscovery; suppression; oblivion; cultural memory; multidirectional memory

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2018

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-08-12 at 00:43