Attila Veres


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14 responses to “Attila Veres


    “I went to Ferenc Liszt Airport in the morning,…”

    And that is the trigger to end up in a plane that becomes ‘still’ in mid-air and later listening to “distorted, toneless songs” accompanying my wedding to the above title of this work, my Zeroist Group beginnings in this art world, a wedding to the wife of us all. A mutant Ligotti panoply of Anti-Natalism couched as a compellingly told Lovecraftian travel trip with the laughable trappings of Lovecraft’s arcane lingo as an antidote to abortion itself. “…intended to be theatrical, ended up being comical, and I couldn’t help it – I burst into laughter.”

    Yet I should warn you against travelling along with this trip, as the narrator himself warns, too, unless you are special people, so perhaps I myself am a special person, as I don’t end up going stark mad like the Frenchman on this trip. I turn out to be the old age pensioner at the end transformed into a youthful version along with my wife, which I perhaps wishfully mis-brainstorm, as is my wont. What will you turn into? Do not depend on Zeno’s Paradox to help you, as this work transcends any such escape clause: “First of all because you shouldn’t give up halfway through once you’ve started something.”

    Some of my high points from this work are shown below, themes and images that kept me buoyed up while travelling this ludicrously nightmarish journey into Ligotti and Lovecraft. “…the miserable melody of fog sirens leading me into my dream.” The succubus on my chest. The hidden genders in the church versus the hidden agendas in the pub opposite. “…dried flesh and boiled bones.” The Garden of Antlers, antlers that appeared like elbows to me. The Veresian ‘essences’ of our selves as black maybes or living plush toys, like stuffing being stuffed in and out. “To be nullified, to be made nothing. To be even less than dead….” and “The babies eat themselves out of my flesh;” and “songs written in an atonal key and sung by voices imitating nightmares in the language of gods long dead.” Like Xenakis.

  2. Sky Filled With Crows, Then Nothing at All

    “I’m not a heavy metal fan. I listen to it because of him, Csaba, but I prefer Handel and Mozart.”

    I know what that means, I think. I love the classical greats old and new. And String Quartets, even (or especially?) when screaming and screeching, are preferable for me to electric guitars doing the same thing. Meanwhile, I understand Csaba is the Hungarian name for a son of Attila the Hun. And that this story portrays a demonic synergy, a narrator as a devilish incubus under Csaba’s bed, and adding to and subtracting from Csaba’s life, his loves, his career as a metal musician and as a free spirit, Csaba who is nobody’s slave except perhaps that hidden demon’s, and we hear of the group Steelbird, and the characters who live and die around Csaba. Basically the narrator is a tutelary demon that lurked here even before Csaba was conceived…Csaba who was born “enclosed in the cage of the Hungarian language” and so the universal language of music was the best course to follow. Until the shape-shifting demon’s control of Csaba’s love life, sexually attracted in potentia towards the demon itself and then towards a real woman, eventually resulting in a pretty daughter and a new rival(?) tutelary demon for this daughter. But I must remember that this highly insinuating portrayal of the demon is a gift of its own narration…
    sky filLEd WIth crowS …”old demos”, old demons like me.

    “To become the sky itself, and not just a passing bird against it.”

  3. Walks Among You

    “Her blood, her body, her voice, is half Hungarian, but the other half comes from the source of the faith.”

    This substantive work transmutes some of the earlier half-joke / half-serious material I have already read in this book so far into a gestalt of wholly religious seriousness and human interaction with the historical Holocaust but mainly with the half and half blend of heart-felt and heart-cannibalised sufferings alongside death’s epiphany, an epiphany as filtered through a Lovecraftian sensibility, and a mix of characters surrounding the funeral of Aunt Márti, a woman at outset on a catafalque like our recent dead Queen in UK, these characters featuring particularly a young bullied girl called Leila with her own self-harming, and an old man like me with something lurking under his bed, who, unlike me, was once interviewed on TV and thirsts for children’s blood, and some grown-up adulterers, all involving the gateway of miracle or spiritual implosion that funerals are said to elicit in this religion, a religion shown here in contradistinction with Christianity’s crucifix, the latter’s suffering transposed to “bronze or copper on cheap crosses.”
    On my visit, once, to Budapest, I sensed the Hungarian language was just as Lovecraftian as some of the translingual, Mad Arab issuances of Lovecraft himself, yet this religion has a vocalised ritual with “words that tongues and lips used to the simplicity of the Hungarian language couldn’t master,….” This work, meanwhile, induces a feeling that one is being ever-watched by “the Faceless and Nameless and Sleeping Great Lords…” Not forgetting the unforgettable Sunless Slaves and the Jaw of Saturn. And a dead cat among some books.

    “The planets and black holes and dead suns drift helplessly through the black mud of the universe. One betrayal more or less has no importance whatsoever in the great indifference of things.”


    “The Outskirts Pub was opened in the early ’90s by a man named Béla Ózdi and his life partner, Magdolna.”

    Again a Béla scenario triggers what happens …and ends it, too. The enigma of the eventernal GESTALT resolved as a mountain of all of us past and present, famous and unknown, or just two – you and you as me and me. “…ejected the Chopin CD and by mutual consensus they put on a Rage Against the Machine…”
    The story in a sort of post-Soviet no man’s land between Hungary and Ukraine, and featuring this downbeat pub as a sort of church as the art of literature, I guess, and Gábor Szeiber’s head-bending cube of a family home made of crosses on the walls and perhaps cracked tiles, a single vision of a single such tile starting this work’s rite of passage through colour-coded complexes drunk as part of his decision to make a career move to become an alcoholic. I shall leave you to discover these various visions that carry themes and even characters from the rest of the book, such as Eszter, and also featuring his mother and a spiritual cannibalism, and images that are more art installations as objective-correlatives than directly meaningful things, such as a packet of cigarettes, blue writing on white. It is all terribly compulsive reading as well as convulsive in that maze of corridors that constitute Zanó’s wine cellar. Some of you won’t be able to reach the end of this ritual passage. But as Gábor did, I did too, to the very last and eponymous complex in this story, the gestalt of one’s life and the people one’s met in this story of ‘parallel dimensions’. Just as I try to real-time to create a gestalt from my church that is literature. Its ‘blue sky’ thinking. Its event horizon of eternity.

    And here are my previous such dimensions that are, arguably, in mutual synergy with this work and this whole book: — a prose poem posted here a few months ago. an old post showing a static amber of a traffic light. My own perpetual autumn, I hope.
    And a thread on ‘eventernal’:
    Not so much a life “carved out in a state of drunkenness” as this Veresian work has deemed the maze of a wine cellar to be, and I try moderately to drink wine as part of my routine in old age, but also hopefully this whole book seen “through the eyes of an aeons-old creature.”

    “…a peaceful thing to be part of this mountain. It doesn’t matter whether you perceive your life as a failure or success.”

  5. The above Veres stories are reviewed from the contents of…

    The Black Maybe: Liminal Tales by Attila Veres
    Translated from the Hungarian by Luca Karafiáth
    First edition 2022 Copyright © 2022 by Attila Veres
    Introduction copyright © 2022 by Steve Rasnic Tem
    This edition copyright © 2022 by Valancourt Books, llc
    Published by arrangement with Agave Könyvek Kft., Budapest.

    My previous reviews of Steve Rasnic Tem:

    Lovecraft, Ligotti, Lenyj, Laveres, in reverse alpha order.

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