2017-07-19

Karinthy et al on the Literature Map

I found an unusual web site:

Literature Map - The Tourist Map of Literature

You type in an author, and if it is in the database, the site yields a map of other authors you might like.

So I typed in some of my favorite Hungarian authors, most of whom are not in the database, and then a few of my favorite Eastern European dystopian authors.

Frigyes Karinthy yields Franz Kafka, J. M. Coetzee, Ivan Goncharov , George Orwell, John Williams.

Dezsõ Kosztolányi: Thomas Mann, Viktor Pelevin, Chekhov, Anais Nin, Italo Calvino, Kurt Vonnegut, et al, and without the accent marks: Franz Kafka, Georges Perec.

Miklos Banffy: Heinrich Heine, Shakespeare, Descartes, Goethe, Willa Cather, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Harper Lee, Per Pettersen.

Istvan Örkeny yields Joseph Heller, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, John Edward Williams, Samuel Beckett.

Karel Čapek with the accent, gives me Vaclav Havel and George Orwell; without the accent, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, George Harrison, and farther away, a whole bunch of writers.

How could Yevgeny Zamyatin possibly give me Margaret Mitchell or Henry Kissinger? Along with real writers.


2017-07-12

Voyage to Kazohinia: A Diametric Dystopia (2)

"The ABC of the Diametric Model, Twenty Years On" by Christopher Badcock, Psychology Today, July 5, 2017
As I pointed out in a recent post, what is today known as the diametric model of the mind and mental illness was stunningly anticipated by Sándor Szathmári (1897–1974) in his novel, Voyage to Kazohinia, first published in Hungarian in 1941. To the best of my knowledge, this is the earliest anticipation of the idea that autism and psychosis might be opposites—despite the author seemingly knowing nothing of autism or of the work of Hans Asperger, who was about to publish his first account of Autistichen Psychopathen im Kindesalter in wartime Austria.

Voyage to Kazohinia: A Diametric Dystopia

"Voyage to Kazohinia: A Diametric Dystopia" by Christopher Badcock, Psychology Today, May 6, 2017

"The diametric model of mental illness was anticipated in a novel of 1941."

Badcock summarizes the schema of Szathmári's novel. He notes that Gulliver proves incapable of recognizing the similarity between his Britain and the irrational Behins. Later Badcock notes that the behins are tangled up by their own mental constructs, unable to engage objective reality.
"But by now many readers of these posts will already have noticed that to present-day eyes the Hins look very much as if they collectively suffer from high functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD); while the Behins are afflicted with diametrically opposite psychotic spectrum disorder (PSD). This remarkable book, in other words, prefigured the diametric model of mental illness by a full fifty years. In Szathmári’s words, the Hin and Behin represented “Two worlds, which could never perceive each other simply because the other was not a separate entity but the reverse of itself…” Like mentalistic versus mechanistic cognition, these were “opposite worldviews,” the former the “positive” of the other “negative.”"
Badcock finds the translation somewhat wanting, but also regrets that this "masterpiece" so relevant to psychological understanding and today's world has been overlooked.
"But its author deserves full credit, not only for writing one of the most brilliant satires of modern times, but also for implicitly understanding the diametrically opposite nature of autism and psychosis, mentalistic and mechanistic cognition—not to mention the threat to sanity and civilization of hyper-mentalism."
Badcock was informed of this novel by one Simone Hickman. Perhaps it is possible to learn more about her?

This is a unique and remarkable tribute. I am not familiar with Badcock's work or the concepts he uses, but if he recognizes a psychological dualism here, he, or we in any case, should recognize that this mirrors an ideological and rock-bottom societal dualism patterned in the modern world.

2017-07-03

Franz Kafka, datrevene

". . . Mi estas tiel soleca, kiel . . . kiel Franz Kafka." -- Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka naskiĝis la 3-an de julio 1883 en Prago. Ĉi-datrevene afiŝis Antonio De Salvo:

Franz Kafka – Esperanto-vivo

. . . pri la vivo kaj verkaro kaj tradukoj (en Esperanto) de Kafka. Oni interalie trovos ligojn al tradukoj, ekz. tiuj de Vilhelmo LUTERMAN:

Franco KAFKO (Franz Kafka): Rakontaro

Kaj ne forgesu la krokodilan retejon de esperantista poeto Mauro Nervi:

The Kafka Project by Mauro Nervi