06 October 2017

Domahidy Miklós: Az osztrák vádlott

(The Austrian accused: a novel by Miklós Domahidy) 


6th October is the Memorial Day for Martyrs of Arad in Hungary. 13 generals of the Hungarian army were executed in the city of Arad on this day in 1849, after the crushing of the war of independence.
Not all the generals were ethnic Hungarians, there were three Germans, an Austrian, two Armenians, a Serbian, and a Croatian among them, some didn't even speak Hungarian.
As general Ernest Pöltenberg, whom this book is about. It's said he could only swear in Hungarian, much to the delight of his soldiers.





"A novel about a trial, during which it was not found out that the accused's name is Pöltenberg Ernő or Ernest Pölt Ritter von Pöltenberg."

"Regény egy tárgyalásról, amelyen nem derült ki, hogy a vádlottat Pöltenberger Ernőnek vagy Ernest Pölt Ritter von Pöltenbergnek hívják."




The spine of the novel is a conversation between the wife of a Hungarian major of the Austrian army and the Austrian Ernest Pöltenberg, the general of the Hungarian army.



"why couldn't those have honour who stood on the other side, or were kept marooned there..."

"miért is ne lehetne becsülete annak, aki a túlsó oldalra állt vagy a túlsó oldalon rekedt..."


“For me, General, if I have to go to the slaughterhouse, it does not matter at all with whom I'm going. But I'll be there in the appointed time, you can be sure of that.”

"Énnekem, tábornok úr, ha már mindenáron a vágóhídra kell mennem, keveset számít az, hogy kivel megyek. De a kijelölt időben ott leszek, ebben bizonyos lehetsz."


“The sergeant looked at him on the march, shook his head, and marched on with his unfinished sentence, which - the General understood just now, leaning against this tree - had started so beautifully that could not longer continue.”

"Az őrmester menet közben őrá nézett, a fejével nemet intett, és tovább masírozott a befejezetlen mondatával, amelyik - a tábornok csak most, ennek a fának dőlve értette meg - valamikor olyan szépen indult, hogy már nem lehetett folytatni."


"Happy is the one,  who can stop at rushing momentum, who has been given the opportunity to admire the beginning, until death."

"Boldog, aki meg tud állni a kipattanó lendületnél; akinek megadatik, hogy holtáig a kezdetben gyönyörködjék."


"The future is in the hands of people who will explain the greater goals with precision that kept them away from the battles, in the hands of people who are encouraged by opportunities instead of lessons."

"A jövő olyan emberek kezében van, akik részletes pontossággal magyarázzák majd meg, hogy a csatákból milyen célok szolgálatában kényszerültek kimaradni. Olyan emberek kezében, akiket a tanulság helyett a lehetőség ösztönöz."


"Character test and gambling. He won one and lost the other."

"Jellempróba és szerencsejáték. Az egyiken nyert, a másikon vesztett."


"Who put his word on a stone will fly with it."

"Aki a szavát egy kőre teszi, az vele röpül."


"Do well wherever life put me"

"Helytállni, ott, ahová kerültem"


"There are people about whom the only certainty is that they will die nice."

"Vannak emberek, akikről bizonyosan csak azt lehet tudni, hogy meghalni majd szépen fognak."


"- Then it was definitely Kossuth. A decisive encounter with the wizard.
Pöltenberg was looking for memories. He wanted to answer exactly, as always.
- Maybe I saw him twice. And just momentarily. True, I did not run after the occasions. But, I've been living among my soldiers since I was commanded to this country. And it was as I've always been in the front line ever since. He never came to us. 
- Why? 
- I do not know. They say he endures the noise of battles badly." 

"- Akkor biztosan Kossuth volt. Egy döntő találkozás a varázslóval.
Pöltenberg keresgélt az emlékkei között. Most is pontosan akart válaszolni.
- Kétszer ha láttam. Akkor is futólag. Igaz, nem szaladtam az alkalmak után. De én a katonáim között élek, amióta ebbe az országba vezényeltek. És úgy adódott, hogy azóta mindig az első vonalban vagyok. Ő viszont sosem jött közénk.
- Miért?
- Nem tudom. Azt beszélik, hogy rosszul bírja a csatazajt." 


“... cries were flying in the cloud of dust, and the plethora of swearwords with them. In Hungarian, German, Slovakian, Polish, Czech, Italian, maybe in a dozen languages. It seems as if Babel's tower was collapsing right here, together with its masons, the people of the empire."

"... röpködtek a kiáltások a porfelhőben, és velük a káromkodások özöne. Magyarul, németül, tótul, lengyelül, csehül, olaszul, talán egy tucat nyelven. Mintha Bábel tornya itt dőlne le, kőműveseivel, a birodalom népeivel együtt."


“...there, where the one reaching to the sky is no longer able to swap places with anyone"

"...ott, ahol az égig érő már nem cserélhet senkivel"


















I could not find an English version of the book so the quotes are my unofficial translations.



14 comments:

  1. "Character test and gambling. He won one and lost the other."

    I like how this is said!

    Was he a hero?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was "just" a soldier ... one of the 13 generals.
      You can read more about him here:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernő_Poeltenberg
      Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  2. It seems an interesting book, Edit. It is a pitty that there is no translation in English. I would love to read it. Kisses, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Mia! I love this book.
      Have a nice weekend!

      Delete
  3. I agree with Mia, it sounds like a very interesting book.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amalia! Have a lovely weekend!

      Delete
  4. I would have liked to read this book. Your photo is lovely,
    Have a nice evening, Edit.
    Ida

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Ida! Hugs!

      Delete
  5. It sounds like an interesting book. Your translations are very enjoyable.
    I wish you bright autumn days and magical autumn sunsets. :)
    Big hugs! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Sara! You are so kind! :)
      Have a beautiful day! Big hugs! ♥

      Delete
  6. sounds touching and daring through this conversation dear Edit!

    you put wonderful effort to make it comprehensive for us.

    wars are games for who who order for this ,they play this like chess .
    they are using this world as the chess board ,nothing matters to them except their own selfish ego and false pleasures .how sick

    soldiers of both side have no personal issues with each other still they are forced to kill each other .
    how painful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Baili! I agree with you. ♥
      Have a lovely week! Hugs!

      Delete

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