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September 20, 2011

UMBC’s Laszlo Korossy Publishes First English Translation of 17th-Century Epic Poem

Contact: Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
410-455-8117
dwinnick@umbc.edu

“The Siege of Sziget” is an epic poem, war chronicle and theological treatise considered a cornerstone of Hungarian literature and cultural heritage, but inaccessible outside of Hungary for the last 400 years. Laszlo Korossy, a Ph.D. student in public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has just published a groundbreaking English translation of the piece, bringing this crowning achievement of 17th-century literature to new audiences around the world.

The work, titled “Szigeti Veszedelem” in Hungarian, is a retelling of the famous 16th-century Battle of Szigetvar, a major turning point in the Ottoman Wars that saw the death of Sultan Suleiman and the decimation of Ottoman military forces. The commander of the defending Hungarian-Croatian garrison was Miklós Zrinyi, great-grandfather of the author, also named Miklós Zrinyi.

Korossy suggests “The Siege of Sziget” is “a theological treatise, wrapped in a story of military conflict.” Although it was written with the goal of marshaling Hungarians against encroaching Turkish influence, Korossy writes, the poet manages to convey that “there is no nation that has a monopoly on righteousness.” For Korossy, what makes the piece so exceptional is that “the author avoids the black and white broad-brush stereotypes that abounded in the literature of his contemporaries.”

This first-ever English translation of “Szigeti Veszedelem,” six years in the making, is a milestone for the international literary world. “The Siege of Sziget” was quickly translated into Croatian in 1652, but this new English translation exponentially increases the poem’s accessibility and its capacity to teach and inspire critical reflection.

Join Laszlo Korossy for a discussion about the new translation at the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary in Washington, D.C., on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. Contact him directly for event details and visit the Catholic University of America Press website to learn more about “The Siege of Sziget."

Laszlo Korossy (László Korössy) is also the pre-law adviser and undergraduate advising coordinator for political science at UMBC.

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Posted by dwinnick at September 20, 2011 11:54 AM