An apple is an apple

August Kleinzahler

  • Eternal Monday: New and Selected Poems by György Petri, translated by Clive Wilmer
    Bloodaxe, 96 pp, £7.95, June 1999, ISBN 1 85224 504 2

György Petri (or Petri György, as he would have been called in Hungary) was born in Budapest in 1943 to a family with a Serbian and Jewish background. A year after Petri’s birth, in 1944, Hungary joined the Axis powers with disastrous result. The war impoverished the country and brought in its wake the Stalinist regime of Mátyás Rákosi, who was briefly replaced by Imre Nagy (the subject of a moving Petri poem), only for him to be followed the next year by the quisling János Kádár, who arrived back in Hungary in 1956 along with the Soviet tanks.

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