Distancing Gender in Contemporary Hungarian Fiction

Pál Hegyi


Representations of gender crossing go back to a rich tradition in Hungarian literature. The most conspicuous achievements for performing gender passing on the authorial plane are epitomized in such fictionalized female literary alter egos as Erzsébet Lónyay (Sándor Weöres), Lili Csokonai (Péter Esterházy), and Jolán Sárbogárdi (Lajos Parti Nagy). Providing a unique sensibility to seek out innovative forms that could accommodate interrogations into distancing gender, it is a legacy that finds continuation in the works of a new generation of young Hungarian prose writers. By conducting close-readings of literary pieces by two present-day writers, Pál Hegyi’s paper endeavors to give instances of how gender passing is transposed from the authorial plane to the level of narratives. The short stories “Karambol” [‘Crash’] by Ádám Berta and “Pertu” [‘On Intimate Terms’] by Edina Szvoren will be interpreted to adumbrate distancing narrative strategies for crossing gender boundaries.


literary pseudonyms; gender crossing; gender distancing; contemporary Hungarian fiction; Ádám Berta; Edina Szvoren

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ahea.2019.363

Copyright (c) 2019 Pál Hegyi

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