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Ildikó LOVAS
( 1967 )

» Spanish Bride (2007)

Biography

Writer and editor, Ildikó Lovas was born in Subotica (Vojvodina, Yugoslavia, today Serbia) in 1967. The took a degree in Hungarian literature at the local university in 1991. Since 1998 she has been editor-in-chief of the literary journal Üzenet (`Message`). She has previously published several fiction volumes, including three collections of short stories: Kalamáris (Squid, 1994), A másik történet (The Other Story, 1995) and Via del Corso (2001), and two novels: Meztelenül a történetben (Naked in the Story, 2000) and Kijárat az Adriára - James Bond Bácskában (Outlet to the Adriatic: James Bond in the Bac·ka, 2005).

Her prizes include:

1998 Móricz Grant, 2004 Nándor Gion Grant, 2005 Sziveri Prize, 2006 Bezerédj Prize

Spanish Bride
2007

Two stories are interwoven in this novel. One is at the ill-fated marriage of the real-life Olga Jónás to the Subotica-born cult figure of Hungarian writer Géza Csáth (1887-1919), telling what happened on the very last day of that marriage, which ends with Csáth shooting his wife and going on, after a failed attempt immediately afterwards, to take his own life six weeks later. The other strand, which has autobiographical features, is the tale of a girl’s coming of age in the Vojvodina of the Seventies and Eighties, and it closes with the girl preparing to become married in a Spanish wedding dress that she receives as a present from Paris. Full of hope, the young woman longs for an institutionalised relationship even though that is what ruined Olga’s and her husband’s lives during the years of the first world war. Lovas’s novel is both an erotic adventure story and a parody of traditional girls’ story books. Many books before now have discussed Csáth’s fate, but this is the first one to deal with his marriage from his wife’s point of view. “Decades separate Olga and the story of the girl. Even so the girl is no more liberated, radical or more open in the way she avows bodily pleasures than Olga. Spanish Bride also shows us that we should not arrogantly imagine that we know better than the young women of the 1910s simply because in modern-day texts we read cunt instead of calyx.” Zsófia Szilágyi, litera.hu

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