Hungarian SF of the 19th century

Adam Roberts' The History of Science Fiction (2nd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) has turned my galaxy upside-down. Just one note for now.

Hungarian SF gets a few brief mentions, but no mention of Imre Madách's The Tragedy of Man, which is not really SF but does include Earth's future and a brief sojourn in outer space, uniting the natural and supernatural which is common in the genre as Roberts demonstrates. I am familiar with Mór Jókai's (mostly) untranslated novel A Novel of the Coming Century. While I have heard of Vörösmarty, I knew nothing about the works mentioned. Never heard of Makay.

"The great Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty published a number of pessimistic cosmic epics towards the end of his life, including Az emberek (1848) in which the whole of human history is revealed to be circularly tragic, and Előszó (1850) which projects the ‘tragedy’ of Hungarian history onto a cosmic scale."

"Specific plagiarism aside, writers took from Verne a kind of open-ended optimism that wore very well with readers. One example is Hungarian novelist Mór Jókai, a writer whose ‘popularity was enormous’ despite the fact that ‘serious critics held strong reservations about the aesthetic qualities of his works from the very beginning’ [Pynsent and Kanikova, 166]. Amongst his many novels were several intriguing SF tales, especially A jövö század regénye (A Novel of the Next Century, 1872): a positivist future-history in which new technologies powered by (and indeed built out of) a new substance called ‘ichor’ lead, via war, to world peace and prosperity, and thence to the colonisation of the solar system."

"The cave-dwelling Moon-beings of Hungarian István Makay’s Repülögépen a Holdbar (By Airplane to the Moon, 1899) owe as much to Kepler’s Somnium as to any modern speculation"

REFERENCE [from Roberts]: Pynsent, Robert, and S.I. Kanikova, eds. 1993. The Everyman Companion to East European Literature. London: Dent.

Here are English translations (with the originals) of two poems by Vörösmarty:

Az emberek / On mankind

Előszó / Prologue

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