ActA UniversitAtis sApientiAe, philologicA

Júlia-Réka Vallasek
2017 unpublished
My study focuses on the self-narration of the young Transylvanian writer and social activist of the first part of the twentieth century, Ferenc Balázs, based on his personal correspondence and his autobiographical works. The medieval tradition of peregrination becomes a journey around the world which later will offer the ideological background of his work, and an evergoing clash between cultural traditions. Both his literary work and social achievement are characterized by premodern nostalgia
more » ... r rural life mixed with utopian socialist ideas. The task of shaping a traditionalist, rural community according to modern idea becomes a token of individual achievement in his works. Balázs's self-narration is contrasted in the memoirs of his wife and co-worker, Christine Frederiksen (The Alabaster Village), narrated from the special point of view of the stranger. Her interpretation comes to complete a story filled with complex interactions of cultural representations. My essay aims at presenting the career history of Unitarian minister, writer, poet, publicist, cooperative association leader, etc ., Ferenc Balázs. He was one of the ideologists of the volume entitled Tizenegyek Antológiája [Anthology of the Eleven], which gathered the first-generation authors of post-1919 Transylvanian literature. Although impressive in its complexity, his career history was not entirely extraordinary in his own time. Among theology students, taking study trips abroad was relatively common and it kept the tradition of peregrination alive. In Ferenc Balázs's case, however, the study trip became a round the world trip by which he established the ideological background of a lifestyle that combined premodern nostalgia towards the countryside with elements of utopian socialism, where the key to individual progression was the improvement of community life. It would be hard and perhaps inadequate to examine the complex and diverse life and work of authors like Ferenc Balázs based only on their literary activities .