Her father, Pal Heller, was a lawyer and writer who had been helping people escape Hungary and the Nazi sphere when he was sent to Auschwitz in 1944; he died there.
She remained in Budapest with her mother, Angela Ligeti, expecting to be executed — an experience, she said, that stayed with her permanently.“A trauma cannot be forgotten,” Ms.
Long after I had read the whole collection, resonances of the title poem, “To Sweeten Bitter”, with its poignant opening, remained with me: The magic of good poetry has to do with what it is able to say also between the lines, and Raymond Antrobus succeeds in conjuring up a lexicon of emotions evoked by the experiences, observations and history that craft his identity, drawn from a world that may as naturally includes a classroom in Kenya, a boat trip down Jamaica’s Black River, a confrontation at Miami airport, as familiar home life in Hackney, east London.
Occasional light references to other writers - from Louise Bennett, James Berry to Binyavanga Wainaina and Derek Walcott - give me confidence that here is someone who knows what it takes to follow this literary vocation.
Having begun my career as a publisher with poetry, decades ago, I rejoice that Out-spoken have taken on Raymond Antrobus, a poet so obviously destined for greater things.
The present volume contains nothing very daring or unconventional. She wrote prolifically on philosophy, Marxism, ethics and modernity but was also a strong critic of the right-wing government of Viktor Orban as well as the Communist regime. Heller had gone for a swim, a favorite activity, when her body was found floating in the lake. Feher said, saw no sign of a heart attack or aneurysm. Her eventful life included losing her father in the Holocaust, falling into official disfavor after the Hungarian uprising of 1956, and, most recently, speaking out against Viktor Orban, Hungary's right-wing prime minister.“A story is always a story of choices,” she wrote in one of her last essays, published in the journal Social Research last spring.Agnes Heller, a prominent Hungarian philosopher and dissident who repeatedly found herself unwelcome in her own country, died on July 19 while vacationing on Lake Balaton in western Hungary. She had been staying at the summer resort of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the town of Balatonalmadi. “It was not written in the stars that Hungary would fare worst among all post-Soviet states or that it would be the most radical in its elimination of freedom of the press or balance of power in government and wind up with a system I call tyranny.”“Tyrannies always collapse,” she continued, “but whether Hungarians will escape with their sanity and sufficient clarity for a new start remains to be seen.”In a tribute to her, Judith Friedlander, a former dean of the New School for Social Research in New York, where Professor Heller taught for more than 20 years,called Ms.She joined the New School in 1986.“Heller was eventually faced with the task of reconstructing her life and career in another country and language,” John Grumley wrote of this period in the biography “Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History” (2005).“This is an obstacle that has destroyed many intellectuals.“But I did understand one thing: that this was the most important thing I had ever heard in my life, and so I must understand it.”She fell into Lukacs’s intellectual circle and later, in the 1960s, became a principal member of what was known as the Budapest School, philosophers whose common link was Lukacs.They initially focused on applications of Marxism, though most later distanced themselves from it. Heller also became politically active, joining the Communist Party in 1947.Heller had gone to the science academy’s resort every year.“The Orban government had recently passed a new law that was going to dismantle the academy, and Agnes was still trying to fight that decision,” she wrote.“Full of energy and terribly concerned about the plight of Hungary and other countries in Europe, she was not about to give up.”Agnes Heller was born on May 12, 1929, to a middle-class Jewish family in Budapest. The police ruled out the possibility of a crime, according to the Hungarian news site Hungary Today. Heller, a prolific, wide-ranging writer in multiple languages, explored Marxism, ethics and modernity as well as everyday life.Heller “one of Europe’s most revered philosophers and outspoken dissidents, both during Communist times and again more recently.”She noted that Ms.