Janos Szekely: Kísértés (Temptation)

The latest addition to my website is Janos Szekely‘s Kísértés (Temptation). This is a sad tale of Béla, a Hungarian born out of wedlock in the early 1920s – his father has disappeared – and brought up in a rural area by a cruel foster woman while his mother tries to earn her living in Budapest. He is starved, beaten and denied education. Eventually, when he tries to steal some shoes – he has none – in a very cold winter, he is packed off to Budapest, where his mother is struggling to earn her living and pay the rent. He gets a job as a hotel porter – no pay, only tips and food – but the pair still struggle, even when the father turns up again. He is seduced by an older woman and torn between left- and right-wing activists, with things only getting worse when the Great Depression hits. Szekely clearly shows his sympathies for the poor and downtrodden, for whom there seems to be little hope and little escape.

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