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Articles tagged "Budapest"

Oh, Those Chubby Genes

Three homeless citizens were sitting on Budapest’s Liberty Square, watching television. By the corner of the American Embassy, policemen with automatics were shuffling in place, as always, blowing into the plastic coffee cups held up to their lips and looking at the sky, the Good Lord’s grainy, melancholy TV monitor. The phenomenon was first spotted at 9:30 by Corporal Henrietta Kis who, for reasons of her own this time, glanced into the bomb-surveillance mirror and was glad...

Blessed Margaret

Translator’s Note: Daughter of King Béla of Hungary and his wife Maria Laskaris, Princess Margaret (1242–70) was pledged to the Church by her father if the country survived the Mongolian invasion. Margaret entered a Dominican convent at the age of three, and at the age of ten entered a convent on the island on the Danube between Pest-Buda that now bears her name. Here she was soon revered for her humility, renunciation, and good works, which later became the stuff of...

The Toad Prince

I am standing in front of the mirror, afraid that I am bad. I am ugly because I am bad. I am a toad because the wicked witch has cast a spell on me. That’s why my head is like a toad. Jewish. Squash it! There are clean people: peasants, Germans, soldiers. They wear boots so they won’t touch a toad. They will squash me with their boots. Even the girls. The little princesses will turn me away in neat succession. I am not a human being. What a malheur. They won’t...

An Austro-Hungarian Guidebook

Novi Sad, Thursday afternoon, April 9, 1987 Energy and resourcefulness. These virtues have excited me lately, sending me into a pathological rapture, duping me into rashness and loss of self-respect. I'm sitting on a smugglers' bus, overcome with the contagious cheerfulness of the other travelers, their impatience as they face an adventure. They are in a realm of chattiness, of conspiratorial mirth. The Vegeta seasoning powder is in our baggage, heavy as cement but promising a...

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