Péter Esterházy

    is regarded as the one of the greatest contemporary Hungarian writers. He lives in Budapest, where studied mathematics and started publishing in literary journals in 1974. His novels, which have been translated into more than 20 languages, include A Little Hungarian Pornography (1984); The Helping Verbs of the Heart (1985); The Book of Hrabal (1990); Celestial Harmonies (2000); Revised Edition (2002) and Not Art (2008). His latest novel, A Simple Story Comma A Hundred Pages (Egyszerű történet vessző száz oldal – a kardozós változat) appeared in 2013. “The West lives in a post-PC age while the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are still in a pre-PC era. We regard political correctness as some kind of American nonsense as we have not yet realized that it is simply discourteous to use certain terms because of the enormous damage they have caused throughout history, for example by what we have done to the Jews during World War II. Historic events have their linguistic consequences and political correctness derives from this dramatic situation. We in Eastern Europe don’t take that into account and are not aware that words in the West have different connotations. We had no freedom but we had freedoms. In 1956 it was as if a dog that had been dragged into the water managed to climb out and shake it off – that’s how we had shaken off the communist system. However, in 1989 it wasn’t clear where the dog ended and where the water began. There were only two kinds of people in Hungary – informers or reformist party members, but nobody in between.”