We, the Twenty-five Letters of the Alphabet
The Hungarian Poet Lajos Walder (1913 - 1945), who chose the pseudonym Vandor, or wanderer, first came to notice in 1932 when he introduced himself to the editor of ANONYMOUS, a Budapest-published literary magazine, with the following words: 'My name is Lajos Vandor. I am a poet, a law student and a trainee worker at the knitting mills. To the proletarians I am a rotten bourgeois; to the bourgeois I am a stinking proletarian; to the petit-bourgeoisie I am an evil anarchist and to the anarchists I am a cowardly petit-bourgeoisie. And everybody is right, whatever they say about me. But I wrote a few masterpieces - these, the poets and les belles ames would call prose, and the prose writers and modern aesthetes would call poems. Take them and eat them, read them, and publish them; but first give me a cigarette because I left my cash register at home and I don't have four cents in my pocket to buy a single fag.' Walder's poems are an accurate expression of their times; political tension and bizarre humour are juxtaposed in a manner concordant with the irreverent Da-da movement that after 1916 swept through the art and literary circles of pre-war Europe. The poems, translated by his daughter Agnes Walder, now resident in Sydney, are for the first time published in English.
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