The Image of Hungary in European Fiction – exhibition prolonged

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Entitled The Image of Hungary in European Fiction (16th – 20th century), the chamber exhibition organized with the cooperation of the Institute for Literary Studies, Research Center for the Humanities of HAS and National Széchényi Library will be open until Wednesday October 31, 2019.

The exhibition illustrates the process how the image of Hungary and the Hungarians had changed from the beginnings of European modernity up until the 20th century in a thriving literary environment, which was made vibrant and accessible by modern-day media revolution.

The concept of the exhibition itself is unique in the series of the literary and cultural historical exhibitions of National Széchényi Library. As the biggest collection and major keeper location of written Hungarian cultural heritage, the Hungarian national library used to present outstanding figures, memories, topics and processes of Hungarian literature and history at its exhibitions. With the help of the researchers of the Institute for Literary Studies, Research Center for the Humanities of HAS, the general public can now look – from an exceptionally inverse perspective – at the age and intellectual environment, in which and alongside which modern Hungarian literature was born.

“National Széchényi Library collects and preserves not only the written-printed cultural heritage published in Hungarian and in Hungary. Our current exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to emphasize that the Hungarian national library is the center and main source of Hungary-related research”– Judit Hammerstein, Acting Director-General of NSZL said in her opening speech.

“One of the indispensable sources of national self-knowledge is the way foreign literature portrays the image of Hungary and the Hungarians. Fiction literature is quite different, but it also has major potentials to form public opinion, let it be historiography, journalism, political agencies or movie” – said Professor Gábor Tüskés, Head of Department at the Institute for Literary Studies at the opening ceremony.

The exhibition shows how Hungarian prehistory, medieval legends, the Ottoman fights, or the news and memory of the wars of independence were reflected in European literature and how they were transmitted to readers of other nations. The exhibition presents a wide range of Transylvanian and Hungarian locations, real and fictional characters, all of which prove that Hungary was regarded both as European and exotic by modern literary tradition.

“This is why the collection of NSZL is world famous. Anyone in the world who wants to deal with Hungary, its people, language, past or present, today or in the future, will need the help of National Széchényi Library. And anyone who writes about his or her research, encounters and experiences – either in the form of a scientific discourse or as literary fiction – will have a place at the Library”the Director-General pointed out.

The exhibition will be open until Thursday October 31, 2019, during the opening hours of NSZL.
Venue: National Széchényi Library, Wing “F” of Buda Royal Palace, Ars Librorum exhibition space on Floor 6
Visitors who are not registered readers of NSZL can attend all of our temporary exhibitions for a flat fee of HUF 400.