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I heard that the Turkish army was alarmed by the wine-stained beards of the defenders of Eger.  They wondered what these crazy Magyars drank and heard that it was "bull's blood," hence the nickname for a kind of wine.

I've read the novel and have a copy (in translation) in my library.  A great story, heartbreaking as is most of Hungarian history.

Now, what I'd really like to know about is the life of Szechenyi Istvan in the last decades of his life, when he was institutionalized but still writing and agitating for progress in his beloved country.  

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 05:21:46 PM EST
I heard that the Turkish army was alarmed by the wine-stained beards of the defenders of Eger.  They wondered what these crazy Magyars drank and heard that it was "bull's blood," hence the nickname for a kind of wine.

Wow, haven't yet heard the legend myself. Upon checking, the origin of the name is more recent: a poet from a rival wine-groving region invented the name "bull's blood" in 1846; and the legend must be still younger (it wasn't incorporated into the novel, but the anachronistic wine brand name was).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 05:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, what I'd really like to know about is the life of Szechenyi Istvan in the last decades of his life

If you write a diary about him, I could dig up further details :-)

(Myself, I grew rather cool on the subject after the controversy with the recent movie on his life, when the actor playing the title role made some silly remarks and professed certainty that Széchenyi's suicide was staged.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't there a play with a diaologue between Szechenyi and Kossuth, two very remarkable men.  The amount of work did and the number of fields that Szechenyi contributed to are astonishing.  The fact that he never gave up even when institutionalized is amazing.

As for writing about him, I doubt it.  I don't know enough.  Right now, I've been reading about another remarkable man, Abdul Ghaffar Khan or Badshah Khan, a Pashtun leader and friend of Gandhi who led a nonviolent army, yes a literal army organized in troops and with a real officer corps, 100,000 strong in the area where the Taliban is active today.  He based his nonviolence on Islamic teachings and Pashtun tradition.  Would be good to remember him these days.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 at 06:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, interesting!

I think you should not hold back yourself on doubts over the level of your knowledge to write diaries on both Széchenyi and Abdul Ghaffar Khan. It's the narrative of what captured you that counts, details can be filled in/other viewpoints can be presented by commenters.

Isn't there a play with a diaologue between Szechenyi and Kossuth, two very remarkable men.

The conflict between the two (with Széchenyi as the moderate advocate of slow progress and Kossuth as the radical reformist -- though Kossuth himself was overtaken by the 1848 revolutionaries) was legendary and very public. As for a literary coverage, upon checking, maybe you mean László Teleki's unfinished drama (written from 1847)?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 at 04:59:02 AM EST
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