Friday, February 1, 2013

A Fidelity

I confess to having no political allegiance. For me it's hard enough trying to understand my neighbour without having to try to understand a game played without compassion. To me, anything that veers to the right or the left is suspect.
So then, I've found Tibor Dery's 'Niki - the story of a dog', published in English by Secker and Warburg in 1958. 
A Hungarian from a prosperous background, the author sympathized with Communism up to a certain point in the 1950s when he began to satirize it. From what I can gather, he'd been both a popular figure in Hungarian culture, and then its outcast.
"On November 13th, 1957, the Supreme Hungarian Court pronounced sentence against four leading Hungarian writers, accused of "hostile activities during the events of November 1956 and subsequently aiming at 'overthrowing the order of the state.' "
Communism, like Fascism, equals death to me. Both of them are a sickness of the mind and the feelings. You see the author above. It would seem that Tibor Dery had humanity sufficient to write this story, a story of a man and his wife befriended unreservedly by a stray.
"The imprisonment of Dery and his fellow-writers brought protests from all over the world." 
I'm still reading this marvelous book, capturing, as it does, the paranoia and restrictiveness of a police state. The corrosion of the regime can only have occurred because some among the oppressed remembered to love, and remembered to report that love.


  1. Hello Faisal:
    To our shame we have to admit that we have little knowledge of Tibor Déry or his writing. However, the times in which he lived and which influenced his work are indeed most fascinating. If you have not seen the film 'Children of Glory' we do recommend it to you. We have it on DVD. It is well documented account of the events around the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and really does give one an insight into those turbulent times.One does then start to have some understanding of contemporary Hungarian society and the many fears and the lack of confidence that the Nation has to this day.

  2. Hello Jane and Lance:
    Hungary is an interesting country, from what I gather, being unique in central Europe in so many ways. It seems to be smack-bang in the middle of everything, literally and otherwise. I'd love to see 'Children of Glory', though without a DVD player, that might be unlikely. I know a little of the history, knowing, by connection, the grandson of Admiral Horthy, as I might have mentioned, and having read up on that time.
    Hungary appears to be unlike anywhere else; perhaps it's its uniqueness that's drawn you there?

  3. I like the orange and black, especially the fuschia and black balls. Nice unsettling contrast to your unsettling narrative. Yes, I see your garden.

  4. Thanks, James. I wonder what I can unsettle next!