Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Péter Tamás: “An Unpaid Employee of the Hungarian Tourist Board”: Norman Jope’s Poems on Hungary


DOI 10.51313/Freeside-2022-08

Norman Jope is one of the few contemporary British poets who have devoted special attention to Hungary. Many of his poems are not only set in Hungary but also employ references to Hungarian culture and history. On the surface, these works might seem like simple travel literature, but the descriptions of Hungary also explore abstract topics. Jope construes Hungary as a heterotopia that holds a mirror up to the UK. Realising that his knowledge of Britain is just as incomplete as his knowledge of Hungary, the speaker becomes alienated from his national identity and expresses a desire to belong to a community that transcends nationalities. This change in the speaker’s identity also entails a heightened awareness of his own mortality.

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ISSN 1786-7967

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