The Széchényi National Library has organized a chamber exhibition from the legacy of Zoltán Szabó, the sociologist – author of the highly influential The situation in Tard (1936), the first Hungarian village research monograph –, between 1939 and 1944 organizer of the “intellectual national defence” against national socialism, and from 1949 Hungarian editor of the BBC and the Free Europe Radio. I slowly pass by his books, documents and letters lined up in small display cases along the wall of the catalog room, and I’m reconstructing the age and the career by digesting the rich material piece by piece, when suddenly something shines on. Five photos on the wall, five beautiful pictures from the legacy, whose timelessnes is in a sharp contrast to the time-boundness of the documents laying under them.

“The great Athenaeum publisher composed a series of book on Hungarian peasant life, and they hired me for very little money to illustrate this series. … On train, foot and bike I wandered all over the Hungarian plain, and so I could get closely acquainted with the enormous problems of my pre-war, feudal and oppressive homeland.” (Miklós Müller: Tamed light, Szeged, 1994)

Miklós (Nicolás) Müller (1913-2000), one of the greatest figures in the history of Hungarian socio photography illustrated several monographs of village research from the early 1930s on, including Zoltán Szabó’s influential Fancy misery (1938). In 1938 he emigrate to France, and eventually settled down in Spain. It was there that he became a truly recognized photographer.

His first oeuvre exhibition was organized in Madrid in 1994, and in the same year they published his anthology. The influential Hungarian photo center Mai Manó Ház exhibited his works in 2006, and the blog of the center recently published his biography and some of his photos.

On his Spanish albums – of which we have two – we will write separately.

1 comentario:

Tamas Deak dijo...

The word “feudal”, as is used here by Müller has been employed quite constantly by a certain part of the intellectuals in Hungary since the early 20th century. The tragical result of this usage is illustrated in the book of J. F. Montgomery:
"AN AMERICAN author and radio commentator recently explained to a friend of mine why the Russian occupation of Hungary was a very salutary event. 'You know,' he said, 'Hungarian landowners are entitled to kill their serfs.' This commentator had never set foot on Hungarian soil, but there was no doubt in his mind as to the truth of this statement. Stories about feudal Hungary were planted incessantly after the first World War in order to calm the world's conscience, which was a little troubled by the fact that in the name of national self- determination, more than three million Magyars had been put under Czech, Rumanian and Serbian rule. Now their feudal lords could no longer chop off their heads. "