“My Happy Days in Hell”
The question begs: am I talking about my current context? Well, we have down days and we have up days, though luckily most of them are the latter. No, what I’m really referring to is the book by Hungarian poet-translator-writer György Faludy. And one of the issues with this is that as usual, whenever I read a book I fall in love with, I tend to end up living it out for real!
First published in 1962 – coincidently about the time Günter Grass published the Tin Drum – My Happy Days in Hell was only allowed for publication in his native Hungary in 1988 after the fall of the communist regime.
I came back from a short stay in incredible Budapest with it (buying it from one of the best bookshops in Europe, BTW, owned by the gentleman-philosopher Tony Läng-Dabbous) and was enchanted from the first sentence onwards by Faludy’s incredible courage of candidness, wicked wit, philosophical ramblings, poetic sorties into love and nature, and finally chilling reality. If you were to put Grass’ The Tin Drum, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Les Confessions and William Boyd’s Les Nouvelles Confessions all into a meat grinder and push the start button, two minutes later you’d come out with My Happy Days in Hell but spiced with a unique nip of Faludy paprika.
|Not-so-hellish for me, after all|
Read more about the amazing life of György Faludy on Wikipedia.