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Another HungaryThe Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives$
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Robert Nemes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795913

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795913.001.0001

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The Writer

The Writer

(p.205) 8 The Writer
Another Hungary

Robert Nemes

Stanford University Press

Margit Kaffka grew up just a dozen miles from where Daróczi was born. Yet she did not share his optimism about the countryside. The daughter of yet another poor Hungarian nobleman, Kaffka eked out a living as a teacher and writer, first in a small town and then in Budapest. From there she looked back in anger on the Hungarian provinces. Her great novel Colors and Years (1912) examined the disintegration of the provincial nobility and documented its effects on women. To Kaffka, the provinces' social order was feudal, its Hungarian nationalism hollow, and its local politics corrupt. And yet, her work does offer a path forward that led through-rather than away from-the provinces. In this way, Kaffka retained something of the "myth of the provinces," even as she insightfully diagnosed its woes.

Keywords:   Margit Kaffka, Colors and Years (novel), women writers, Szatmár County, nationalism, First World War, Romanians, modernism

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