“I Wish the Study of Classical Writers”

“I Wish the Study of Classical Writers”

“I Wish the Study of Classical Writers”. János Arany and the European Literature
Edited by János Korompay H.
NSZL–HAS Faculty of Humanities–Universitas Publishing House, Budapest, 2017.
340 pages
ISBN 978 963 967 162 1

2 940,- Ft

The quote in the title is from Arany’s essay The Aenesis of P. Vergilius Maro: “I wish the study of classical writers, not for forcing foreign characteristics into the Hungarian language but to learn how to use our mother tongue as they used theirs.” While the authors translated and praised by Arany are indeed classical, the purpose of this volume is not to review the entirety of Arany’s literary knowledge from Aristophanes to Gogol, but to present his world literature topics that offer new possibilities and directions for further research.

The readings of Arany inspired his poetry, literary translations, views of literature, critical reviews, high school teaching and newspaper editing in many ways. The traces of literary influences from Antiquity to his own era in his works are sometimes difficult to decipher, but we often find poems, mottos, genres, marginal notes, reviews, letters and translations that clarify his likes and opinions.

For Arany, working with literature was always an important challenge, no matter if it was teaching, adapting to the requirements of readers and theatre audiences, or achieving high standards in aesthetics and theory. The comparative essays here published all prove that Arany, both as literary translator and thinker, stood at the level of the European literature he transmitted.

This introductory text is based on the book’s Preface written by János H. Korompay.