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VIKTOR HORVÁTH: Turkish Mirror

Novel

horvath_viktor_torok_tukorTurkish Mirror takes the reader on an adventurous journey back in time to 16th century Hungary, when the country was still a new suzerainty of the victorious Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, an unstable borderland situated between two great empires, a colourful cavalcade of calendars, taxation systems, languages, writings and sacred writings; kings and emperors, mighty sultans, Hungarian nobles and Ottoman Beys, merchants, city burghers, village magistrates – and from time to time, even angels and djinns and peculiar flying machines. In the novel, we see the city of Pécs gradually giving way to the world of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights where camels walk the streets, apricots and dates hang from the trees in abundance, thieves roam the woods, and the first mosque and Turkish bath are built. Indeed, the great charm of Turkish Mirror lies in its uninhibited flair for storytelling, while its ingenuity lies in showing us the world of Hungary through the eyes of the occupying Ottoman Turks, which is thus presented as a complex, puzzling multinational land froth with danger and ruled by complex power relations as opposed to the Padishah’s civilized and refined empire. Thanks to this surprising point of view, the reader suddenly finds himself on a terrain where everything that was familiar is now foreign and exotic. (Judith Sollosy)

For the author, Pécs is the place of multiculturalism, a notion often evoked in a shallow and deprecating manner. People of the same faith but of different nations, people of the same language but coming from different parts of the world, people of different fates are struggling to survive in the same earthly confinement.” (József Tamás Reményi, Népszabadság)

“You can have no idea, my heir to the true faith, what this prosperous city was like when I was a boy, so listen, for I am now going to tell you.”

Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2012

Product details
ISBN 978 963 6764 71 5
Jelenkor, Pécs, 2009, hard cover
550 pages
3150 HUF

Rights sold
Turkish, Dogan Egmont
Macedonian, Goten
Croatian, Naklada Ljevak
Bulgarian, Ergo
Czech, Vetrne Mlyny
Polish, Jagiellonian University Press
Serbian, Dereta
Italian, Imprimatur
Albanian, Ejal

Romanian, Minerva

 

Viktor Horváth