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Barbara Zwolińska
Uniwersytet Gdański

Identity in the Movement (in) space of Berlin and Budapest (based on Sándor Márai's In Journey and Péter Nádas' The Memory)

     In the article I look at places of memory important for two Hungarian writers of the 20th and 21st century: Sándor Márai and Péter Nádas. These are primarily two cities: Budapest and Berlin, shaping the identity of the traveler (in the sketches of Márai In Journey) and the identity of heroes involved in complex interpersonal relations inspired by the biography of Nádas, the author of an extensive novel titled Memory. Although I am combining two different literary genres here, I notice similarities in terms of urban spaces and the way the two authors live. The identity of a modern man, whose condition is diagnosed on the pages of his works, equally determines the deflection into the past, the reticence of memory, as well as thinking about the present through the prism of what has already happened. This is a memory imprisonment, often leading to the repetition of similar events, to constant thinking about the continuity of time, the curse of associations of what was with what is, does not allow to live without burdens in the present tense, constantly corrected by the shadow falling from the past. Time in the urban perspective becomes looped, exposes the person to constant returns to a place that is significant for him. Berlin and Budapest, with their specific topography, monuments and history, become important spaces of identity.

Keywords: Sándor Márai, Péter Nádas, Budapest, Berlin, identity, city

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