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The Grand Dame of antique studies is making another pencil mark in her dictionary of Homerian vocabulary by Elisher and Frölich: to correct another hasty and improbable phrasing. She is going to have one too many classes tomorrow. The WildLooking Professor is desperately looking for the letter “i” with a long accent, commonly called “long i” on the keyboard of his laptop still not perfectly adapted to the accented letters of his mother tongue. The Smollett and Joyce scholar is undoing his ponytail on leaving the television studio, wondering why he is never invited into a live show and what unusual thing he would do to baffle the public on such an occasion. The Enfant Terrible Renaissance Philologist is putting on another LP on his antiquated analogous turntable, one of those Beethoven renderings from the Berlin of the late thirties he keeps on praising so much. The emerging Papessa of Philosophy is completing in her pretty head the soft copy of an essay on an obscure idea of a trend-setting French thinker, while trying to put her adolescent son in bed, in vain – the essay is ready for printing and print. The poet of smooth, evocative rhymes and scholar of iconoclastic notions on auxiliary verbs is badly expecting a call. Not necessarily that of his steady. There are vibrant, frustrated expectations all over town.

“Peasant Girl at Eastern Railway Station” is the title of this snaphot taken in 1930, by Gyula Eötvös. Every day dozens of them arrived here, in the hope of a better life. If you are a first-time visitor here, Gentle Reader, you may have a similar disposition. I hope you have a nice hotel room, and unlike this young lady, no misunderstanding has spoiled your very first day. She must have missed the other maid from the same village who promised to come pick her up.

(From the Simplicissimus Reader: “Egghead Budapest, Nine Thirty Two in the Evening”)

PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 6-7

2011.04.20. 15:49:04

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András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

András Török's Budapest: A Critical Guide  

The Celebrated Insider's Guide, upgraded many times, probably the deepest and funnieast and truest portrait of any major European city. With...

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