Whodunnit? (oh_meow) wrote in linguaphiles,

Hungarian question

I saw that Susanna Clarke's book Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has been published in Hungarian as A Hollókirály (the Raven King, which is a good and fitting alternate title). I've been learning Hungarian, and I'm considering getting it, but I want to find out a few facts in case it turns out to be too difficult for me. It's a great book, and one of my favourites, and I'm really not into fantasy books much at all. It's been a top seller here in the UK, but I have no idea how popular it is elsewhere.

The book, if you're not familiar with it, is a peroid novel about magic in the Napoleonic Wars. In the book England has a mediaeval history of magic and close relations with the fairies, that is long over. Magic has become a theoretical subject for amateur gentlemen scholars to collect books and write essays on, rather than do, and no-one has had any contact with fairies for a very long time, and have forgotten that they are passionate and nasty rather than twee flowery things. Gilbert Norrell, a pedantic, miserly gentlemen academic can actually do magic though and kickstarts a huge revival when he goes public. He takes on Jonathan Strange, a thoughtful young man as his pupil, and they help beat Napolean and work to raise awareness of magic in society. A bargain with a fairy that Mr Norrell made at the start of career has more consequences than he realised, and Jonathan Strange is getting more and more fascinated with the mediaeval magician Raven King of Yorkshire and veering away from the formal theoretical approach to magic. I'm crap at explaining books well, but hopefully gives you an idea. One of the main attractions of the book is that it is written in a Jane Austeneque style with lots of sly wit and copious footnotes telling you what happens to characters or detailing entirely made up historical events and personages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_strange gives the details.

Does anyone know if the Hungarian translation is rendered in early 19th century style? And if so, how different is that style to modern Hungarian? I get the impression that Hungarian has not changed a great deal since then, but I might be wrong. Reading literature beyond my own language ability with the aid of a dictionary is something I did a lot of at various stages of my education, so it won't be a problem unless the style is so removed from present day usage as to make my reference books useless.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded