The word "magyarÃ¡zni" (pronounced MUG-yar-az-knee) means ‘to explain’ in Hungarian, but translates literally as ‘make it Hungarian.’ This faux-Hungarian language primer, written in direct address, invites readers to experience what it's like to be ‘made Hungarian’ by growing up with a parent who immigrated to North America as a refugee. In forty-five folk-art visual poems each paired with a written poem, Hajnoczky reveals the beauty and tension of first-generation cultural identity.
‘Because translation between cultures is always fraught – and yet somehow translate we must – MagyarÃ¡zni explores language and cultural identity in the permeable space fomenting between family and society, word and image initiating us into a new alphabet of lived meaning. In reading we wonder along with MagyarÃ¡zni’s wandering “you,” we care and get entangled in the “brambles of your cursive,” we too are “made Hungarian.”’ – Oana Avasilichioaei
‘Familiar but out of reach, MagyarÃ¡zni reforms the language of home on the tip of your tongue, a language of knotted cursive and bubbled syntax; folksong and stovetop. Each letter blossoms as a hand-drawn flower and a sputtering drone of spits and pith. MagyarÃ¡zni punctuates every I with a poppy seed, every C with the splintered foil of a solemn treat. Mournful and personal, MagyarÃ¡zni calls out for the language of family.’ – Derek Beaulieu
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