The Travels of Count József Zichy II. American Journals 1877

The Travels of Count József Zichy II. American Journals 1877

The Travels of Count József Zichy II. American Journals 1877
Editing, preface and annotations by Mihály Zichy

NSZL–Széphalom Könyvműhely, Budapest, 2013., 126 pages
ISBN 978 963 9903 59 3

2 200,- Ft
Not available

Count József Zichy (1841, Pozsony – 1924, Pozsony) was a well-known politician of his time, a Member of Parliament (1865-1872), the first Governor of Fiume (1870-1872), and Minister of Labour (1873-1875). Together with his younger brother Ágost, eight months after their first journey to Asia, they set out to discover America in June 1877.

Zichy wrote on their first impressions: „… you would never believe that you got so far from Europe. People, cars, tramways, music, all look like home. Lagerbier, elegant shops, railway, steam engine, oh Columbus, if you could only see!” – He is determined to seek objectivity: „… it is a big mistake of those who look at this country superficially or just take a simple glance at it, to hurriedly come to a generalized judgment biased to one or the other direction. They even write entire books to misguide their fellow-Europeans about America… All I have read or heard so far was exaggerating some or the other way. One should not praise or despise anything beyond measure.”

At the end of his journals he summarizes the experiences of both journeys: „It would be nonsense to draw parallel between them and it is not worth the effort, so many are the differences and so little the similarities. These two journeys rather complement each other… The various and heterogeneous images of Asia constantly alternating with each other cannot be compared in any way with the impressions of traveling the United States of North America where you find the results of incessant endeavor, activity, and fatigueless work that seem to try and overtake the century... in Asia you look at the past, here you look at the future.”