But more than a collection of essays on ethnicity by a talented writer, the book is structured to share with the reader insights on language, literature, art, and community from a cultural perspective. The book is also unified by the author's attention to certain concerns, including the meaning of multiculturalism, the power of a language to shape one's thinking, the persistence of anti-Semitism, the significance of displacement and nostalgia in emigration, the importance of understanding the past, the need for a narrative tradition in the writing of fiction, and the power of books in Central Europe.
From an examination of photographer Andre Kertesz to a visit to a Hungarian American church in Cleveland, from a consideration of stereotypical treatment of Hungarians in North American fiction and film to a description of the process of translating Hungarian poetry into English, Teleky's interests are wideranging. The book concludes with an account of the author'sfirst visit to Hungary at the end of Soviet rule, and a discussion of what he has come to see as the arbitrariness of ethnicity.
Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the book makes a contribution to several fields: Central European and Hungarian studies; North American immigrant and ethnic studies; contemporary literature; comparative literature; and popular culture.
About Richard TelekySee more books from this Author
North America, for the most part, has been extraordinarily welcoming to immigrants and tolerant of their longings for home, with the result that some of its citizens have made a fetish of their ancestral affiliations, ruminating endlessly about their ethnic identities.| Read Full Review of Hungarian Rhapsodies: Essays ...