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Hungary, 1956: The Role of the Tragic in the Construction of Central European National Identities • Ferenc Hörcher (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)
October 11, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Starting out from the classic understanding of the tragic in ancient Greece, this talk will examine Milan Kundera’s essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe” published in 1984 alongside an episode in the political career of Hungarian political theorist István Bibó. Bibó acted as minister of state in Hungary’s 1956 revolutionary government and was the only minister to face the invading Soviet troops at the Parliament Building in Budapest. He became a role model for dissident intellectuals in the late communist era. Connecting Kundera’s text and Bibó’s symbolic deed, Prof. Hörcher will focus on the very notion of the tragic as a value in the construction of Central European identities.
Ferenc Hörcher is a Hungarian philosopher, intellectual historian, poet, and professor. He directs the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science and teaches at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest. His work focuses on contemporary political philosophy, the philosophy of art, and the history of modern Central European political thought. He has published three volumes of poetry in Hungarian and a collection of essays about the Hungarian writer Géza Ottlik. As one of the country’s leading political philosophers, he frequently comments on Hungarian politics and on the present conditions of the humanities.
This talk is made possible by University Studies Grant from the International Visegrad Fund.