Reading Ádám Bodor’s <i>Sinistra körzet</i> [‘The Sinistra Zone’] in English


  • Ágnes Orzóy



Translation criticism, translating culture, political allegory, global novel, Ádám Bodor, Paul Olchváry


This article focuses on the English translation and reception of a major contemporary Hungarian novel, Ádám Bodor’s The Sinistra Zone. A fairly slim book, The Sinistra Zone was first published in 1992, established Bodor as a major writer and inspired a considerable amount of critical literature in Hungary. The article first gives an overview of the position of The Sinistra Zone in contemporary Hungarian literature and highlights some issues discussed by critics that are relevant for the discussion of the English translation and reception. After reviewing the American reception of the book, Orzóy examines how specific features of Bodor’s prose are rendered in Paul Olchváry’s English translation by discussing some translational choices and analyzing how these choices may modify possible interpretations of the novel. It is also suggested that besides the interpretive potential of the English translation, expectations towards translated novels may be a reason for the divergence of opinion between Hungarian and American reviewers and critics.






General Articles