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Kertész, Imre

Imre Kertesz, born in 1929, is a writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002.


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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


Litera - Hungary | 09/11/2009

Imre Kertész on a strong and self-assured Europe

Although Europe's history weighs down heavily upon it, the Europe of the future will be strong, self-confident and open, writes Literature Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész in the cultural portal Litera: "The salvation of man, understood in the higher sense of the term, lies beyond his historical existence - not however in the avoidance of historical experiences, but on the contrary in living through them, in assimilating them, and in tragic identification with them. Only knowledge can raise man above history. ... A civilisation which does not clearly declare its values, or which leaves its declared values by the wayside, is on the path to collapse and decrepitude. ... We are abandoned to our own devices and we have neither heavenly nor earthly signposts to guide us. We must create our own values, day by day ... and ... inaugurate a new European culture. When I think of the Europe of the future, I see a strong self-assured Europe which is always ready to negotiate but which is not opportunistic. Let us not forget that Europe was born out of a heroic decision: when Athens resolved to oppose the Persians."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 09/07/2007

Imre Kertész on Europe's freedom of knowledge

Nobel laureate Imre Kertész talked to Jörg Plath about the 'pits of the apocalypse' in Europe he had previously described in his speech at the Berlin conference 'Perspektive Europa'. "I don't want to use political arguments. Politics is like football: everyone thinks they know something about it. I don't understand the first thing about politics, but I believe the pits have not have not closed, not even in Yugoslavia. And they can open up anywhere. The past few days, during which London has been living as if under shock, demonstrate how fragile everything is: how fragile civilisation is, and how fragile daily life is. People must be aware of the dramatic side of life - each day and each moment. Europe has generally been a bright, wise and strong entity since the times of the ancient Greeks. I believe Europe represents something that no other civilisation represents: the freedom of knowledge; freedom in general. It must not be betrayed."

Élet és Irodalom - Hungary | 28/07/2006

Imre Kertesz on European anti-Semitism

In an interview with Eszter Raday, Nobel prize winner Imre Kertesz talks about anti-Semitism in Europe: "Criticism of Israel offers a new and effective outlet for anti-Semitism in democratic states, particularly when Israel gives justified cause for criticism, which, by the way, also happens with states that don't have to battle for their right to exist. A language I call Euro-anti-Semitism has developed. For a Euro-anti-Semitist, it's not a contradiction to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust in one sentence and make anti-Semitic remarks in the next under the pretext of criticising the Israeli state. This has been repeated so often that it's almost a cliché: keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive is necessary to prevent it from happening again. Yet since Auschwitz nothing has happened to refute Auschwitz. On the contrary, Auschwtiz was inconceivable before Auschwitz, but now it is not inconceivable. Because Auschwitz really happened, it has penetrated our imagination and become part of us. And what we are capable of imagining, because it actually happened, can happen again."

Le Nouvel Observateur - France | 02/03/2006

Kertész and Jewish identity

The Hungarian writer Imre Kertész, an Auschwitz survivor and Nobel literature laureate, reflects on his Jewishness on the occasion of the publication of two new works. "For me, being Jewish is not a religion, and I am not a Zionist. My parents were Jews, but it is the Holocaust that made me Jewish. When I visited Israel, I took a walk with my friend Appelfeld, the writer, in Jerusalem's orthodox quarter. While he appeared to be at ease, I felt anguished, shy. I did not belong to this community. I was Jewish but different from them, different from others, different from myself. It seems I am a different kind of Jew. But Which kind? No kind. It has been a long time since I stopped searching for my homeland or my identity. The Holocaust created a new kind of Jew, one for whom being Jewish is neither a religious identity nor membership in a community, but above all, a moral duty."

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