”Scholars of the Nation, Write Books to Honor his Name!”

”Scholars of the Nation, Write Books to Honor his Name!”

”Scholars of the Nation, Write Books to Honor his Name!”
Cultural history interpretations of János Arany’s oeuvre
Edited by András Czieger
NSZL–HAS Faculty of Humanities–Universitas Publishing House, Budapest, 2017., 366 pages
ISBN 978 963 967 160 7

2 940,- Ft
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János Arany is remembered today not only as a poet and a creative author, but also as a literary scholar. His knowledge and broad interest in various fields that appears in the background or even in the foreground of his works call for an approach to his oeuvre that apart from literary history and literary science aspects, also offers interdisciplinary considerations. The editor of the present volume, András Czieger, elaborated and organized this vast material into a collection of essays that discuss the career, life and works of Arany in terms of cultural history relations and various disciplines. Musicologists study the musical traditions and theatre experiences of Arany’s youth, and trace them in the pieces of his oeuvre. Other writings explore the poet’s view of law and politics, and reconstruct the roots of these views in one-time Hungarian popular culture, common law traditions and Classical Philology. Some authors analyze the influence of the political events of the years 1840-1850 on Arany’s activity as a public person, poet and editor. Two essays offer ethnographical approach to the epic poems of Arany, using motif analysis to see cultural interferences, and taking a look at Arany’s theoretical work on epic genres. But we can also find texts on Arany’s linguistic argumentations that date from the period of his career around 1867, and his activity as organizer and official as Secretary of the Academy of Sciences. The last unit of the volume includes essays that map the contact network and the intellectual environment based upon kinship, religion and later politics, that surrounded János Arany, from as early as his studies in the Debrecen High School, to the end of his life. And even beyond, as the closing essay points out that the memory of János Arany is still deeply integrated into the intellectual tradition of Debrecen.

But much more than that. Arany is part of the entire tradition of Hungarian culture and literature, as reflected in the essays of this volume published in cooperation between NSZL, HAS Faculty of Humanities, and Universitas Publishing House.