A nemzetállam történelmi és imaginárius alternatíváinak eltűnése

A kései Mészöly-próza és a kortárs irodalom


The paper approaches the last forty-fifty years of Hungarian prose from a politico-historical and narratological point of view, combining (1) readings of individual pieces of fiction, (2) interpretations of long-term processes in literary production and (3) computerized readings using methods of Digital Humanities on a corpus of 46 volumes. As a starting point the authors identify the so-called ’Pannonian prose’ of Miklós Mészöly in a context of intellectual history regarding the discourse on the notion of Central (or Eastern) Europe in the 1980–90s. The paper then follows the trace of this highly influential Mészöly corpus first in the most canonised works of fiction between the 1980s and 2010, then in the most acclaimed novels and short story collections between 2010 and 2020. Style changes convey shifts in social, political and historical notions of the works, which are thus also interpreted as a slow process: from Central (Eastern) European regional thought to questions of national history and identity, then to family history and identity, later to the life and problems of individual persons. After showing how this process went on in recent Hungarian literature, the paper tries to answer why it happened, drawing some cautious conclusions on the dialectics of inclusiveness—closedness and Western cultural and political influences on Hungarian culture.

Szerző életrajzok

Szemes Botond, Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont Irodalomtudományi Intézet

tudományos segédmunkatárs

Melhardt Gergő, Pécsi Tudományegyetem Irodalom- és Kultúratudományi Doktori Iskola