Kukorelly, Endre

“As to what is the novel, of course one cannot define it like this, at most you can say what it isn’t, and that will either work or not. As a reader it’s pretty easy to say. If you’re a proper (normal, naïve) reader, you read novels. You get immersed in it, there’s conflict in it, a catch or two, the end will always turn out to be something, either good or bad, someone will die, others will never die, someone will always leave/marry someone, there’ll be a murderer, the Turks will really be routed from Eger. They will be, I can tell you that.” (Kukorelly Endre)

Homeward Bound

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It’s best homeward
bound. Already after the Austrian-
Hungarian border, Home,
they write it out,

an H in an O frame.
Like God’s top-hat. Here
it’s the most beautiful. They draw
God’s top-hat.

A beautiful, sideways ovular little
Home, nothing mutilated
about it,
seen from there, like this,

not  mutilated-Hungary.
Such, I think, that then
I won’t turn back at all.
I fail to notice.

They don’t write out, how many
are left until then.
I count it out roughly,
then forget

Too quickly, just
around Vienna, or no, already
at Sankt Pölten it comes again to my mind,
my home, and yet

there, there what should I do?
The best is bad, if I do indeed
turn around, that occurs
to me.

No, of course.  Then the border.
The road becomes half as wide. You turn on
the car lights, pay better attention.
they’re coming from the opposite direction.

Translated from the Hungarian by Thomas Cooper