Pongrátz Gergely – CORVIN KÖZ
Most of the time reading and experiencing a work which is written by someone other than a writer can be an extreme experience. On one hand, it has the possibility of being really easy to follow linguistically, thus creating no sense of inferiority in the reader towards the author. On the other hand, it can also be unpleasant and boring at times, because the writer is not necessarily familiar with the practices or the tools to keep the audience interested throughout the whole book.
Since Gergely Pongrátz, in terms of his education, was a graduate from an agricultural high school and he spent most of his life working as an agronomist, one could sense that his one and only work carries deep issues and real life events instead of artistry and sublimity. Furthermore, it is worth considering that if an average Hungarian man who has been surrounded in the environment of working-class people most of his life is able to publish almost three hundred dry pages on a national incident he must want to explore facts with the help of his lines.
This incident was no less than the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. In the book the author describes the happenings in first person narrative during this revolution in a harsh and honest manner stressing the undeniable importance of a particular location, i. e., Corvin köz. Furthermore, he also confesses on the first few pages: “My guiding principle was either I write the truth or nothing, even if it hurts me or anyone else”. Containing twenty two chapters, most of which are entitled by the exact date (month and day) from the outbreak of the revolution(Oct. 23rd) till the so called end of it(Nov. 10th). Regarding its style, it is clearly observable that the writer does not favor fancy descriptions, only the absolutely relevant information without any ornamentation.
In conclusion, one cannot deny the fact that this book can only be recommended to a close circle of people, so this work will have a minimal chance to spread worldwide, because of the serious and real-life issues, not to mention the tension and violence between the two nations. Despite all these, this book can really serve as an eye-opener for a Hungarian youngster who is at the age beginning to be able to understand the motif behind a revolution and perhaps can appreciate his country more through the process of reading.
Written by: György Taragos