Zsolt Csalog collection
Show on map
Name of collection
- Zsolt Csalog collection
Provenance and cultural activities
Zsolt Csalog started to organize his collection himself. After his death (1997), the collection became the property of his wife, Éva Bognár, who died in 2015. In the first years of the new millennium, the National Széchényi Library purchased the collection from her. Before the purchase took place, some parts of the collection had already been sold (samizdats, autographed books, etc.). The collection was not systematized until 2013, when Márton Soltész, a junior archivist at the National Széchényi Library, started to do research on Csalog’s collection. Since October 2014, the collection has been accessible to the public at the Manuscript Archive of the National Széchényi Library under the personal fond number OSZK Kt. Fond 445. In 2015, Márton Soltész published a monograph on Zsolt Csalog (Csalog Zsolt, Athenaeum kiadó), which also contains the complete list of the fonds of the collection.
Although a monograph has been published on Csalog, his oeuvre is still only rarely made the subject of study. There are different reasons for this. First, after the change of regimes, the issue of the human rights virtually vanished from the agenda with which the Democratic Opposition had strongly identified itself (and which had served as an important tool against the communist regime). Furthermore, Csalog was disappointed in the Alliance of Free Democrats –(of which he was a member) because he thought that the party didn’t represent the issues faced by Roma, the poor and socially marginalized, etc. anymore, so he was gradually distanced himself from the party and from politics in general in the 1990s. This led to political and cultural isolation. Also, the gradual disappearance of the political and cultural world of the Kádár era had a negative effect on reception of and interest in the oeuvre of Zsolt Csalog, because his works and his style were very much a part of that historical context. The aesthetical discourse shifted from sociographic method to postmodernism and new tendencies, which created an aesthetical and intellectual background for his novels.
From the perspective of the cultural politics of the Kádár éra, the writings and activities of Zsolt Csalog are not easy to categorize. The majority of his novels and short stories could be published officially, but some of his writings were heavily censored (Tavaszra minden rendben lesz, or “Everything Will be Fine by Spring,” 1971) or their publication was postponed by years (Parasztregény, or “Pastor Novel,” first was published in 1978). In some cases, he published his manuscripts via samizdats, which was clearly a prohibited activity.
Description of content
- Zsolt Csalog was an archaeologist, ethnographer, sociologist, illustrator and writer. The extensive collection embraces all the materials that he produced and collected over his life. The collection includes book manuscripts, research documentations relating to Roma issues, interviews, texts of the Democratic Opposition, and correspondence. The collection consists of 75 boxes.
- Unknown type: 10-99
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
Date of founding
Place of founding
Show on map
Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
- Kálmán, C. György. Mű- és valódi élvezetek. Pécs: Jelenkor, 2002.
Author(s) of this page
- Bódi, Lóránt
Soltész, Márton , interview by Bódi, Lóránt, July 11, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection