utolsó frissítés: 2015. március

The Making of the Nineteenth-Century Hungarian National Past. Historians as Nation-Makers, New Europe College Yearbooks, Bucharest, 2005, 355-400.


The Making of the Nineteenth-Century Hungarian Historical Canon*

1. On methodologies

The recognition of the basically constructed nature of the national communities (in this case the Hungarian one) and its homogenizing character, respectively the identification of the characteristics (community-mythologies, invented traditions etc.) of nation-building, and the core function of the historically-perceived national literatures has been lately facilitated by the latest scientific work done within the fields of ethnicity, anthropological historiography, narratology.[1]

A system cannot be understood only from its inherent qualities, it is always related to something, positioning itself in relation to something else. So, according to my mind the questions that should be posed along the making of the nineteenth-century Hungarian historical canon are not only those that interpret 'the content' of this canon, but also those that analyse the different types (cultural, disciplinary, poetical, pragmatical etc.) of embeddings of the historical constructions. Otherwise we might establish completely ahistorical conditions: for instance, in the 1830s the epic poem is a canonic form of 'accurate' representation of national history in Hungarian culture, though few historians employ this circumstance, because of a false loyalty of the synchronic view on history. Even though we can never disregard our synchronic preferences (we can never 'be completely others than we are') we can use our premises in a productive way and construct a history that attempts to regain the past through its historical notions and concepts, selected, organized and narrated on the basis of our contemporary preferences. This is a two-folded way to view the past: on the one hand it admits our multiple embeddings (cultural, ethnical, historical, social etc.), on the other hand controls them through a correct and plausible use of the texts that mediate the original occurences for us.[2]

This methodology that is backed by many types of constructivist ideas on historiography in general, and on nation-formation and the construction of ethnicity in particular, is compelled to face the fact that the disciplinary borders of nineteenth-century Hungarian culture were partly different. From this point of view the corpus that we would traditionally associate with Hungarian history and history-making is much broader and is usually considered as the object of such disciplines as for instance literary history or sociology. This circumstance situates the paper in the wholly new and complex position to construct a corpus that is unique from a disciplinary point of view and to analyse it with methods of different disciplines.

2. Constructing a national language - constructing a national history

The idea of the national language transcending the different dialects and idiosyncrasies and being more valuable than any of the variants because its alleged invariancy has been imagined not only as the central factor of the Hungarian national community, but also as a historical component and argument of its (historical) identity. An analysis of the process of its canonization could shed light not only on the artefactual character of this conception, but also on the agents of the process, the values implied and the strategies that make it work.

Le me take the example the first years (1830s) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and perceive this institution as a complex semantical structure with different, sometimes rival values and voices that are sometimes incompatible, and having a certain canonizing force that derives from the way the institution defines itself and makes others define it.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences is founded after a long struggle with Vienna. The model finally accepted by the court is that of a society propagator of good usage, the court hoping that by concentrating on the language the society of the Hungarian erudite scholars will refrain from political issues. But meanwhile the role of the language has changed, the society becoming the promoter and acting in the spirit of a certain type of view on the role of language in the constitution of the national community.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences defines itself from the very beginning as the synchronic and diachronic promoter of a value presented as central: the Hungarian language.[3] Another component of its self-definition is a value based on the analogous roles of Western academies: i.e. being the centre of the Hungarian culture, having the decision-making role in matters of culture. Archival and published materials[4] emphasize that the self-definition of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the aforementioned respects is widely accepted: proofs in this sense are the different types of requests both from individuals and institutions that conform to the self-definition porposed by the academy. For instance, different counties appeal to the Academy: "on January 9, 1832. The president answered the county of Esztergom regarding their request that the Society should fill the void regarding the technical terms in Hungarian. They have also asked us to make [!] folk songs and to publish the speeches uttered at Hungarian weddings and national ceremonies - all these in order to promote a faster Magyarization"[5]

The decision of the Academy as well as the request of the county springs from a language-based vision of the national culture as a system that can and should be guided to a certain direction. The individuals and institutions that address to the Academy (for instance when the society is offered to take over the award of the famous Marczibányi prize) define it as the institution that is able and perfectly competent to decide in such cases, perpetuating and strengthening the self-definition of the society regarding to the nature of the community implied, the nature of the culture implied, the possible changes that could be performed in the national cultural sytem, respectively the identity of the competent agent to deal with such alterations. According to these roles the position of the Academy is an omniscient and omnipotent standpoint above the culture, founding not only the hierarchy of the decision-making factors and canonic opinions in matters of national, but also assigns persistent viewpoints and roles for the Hungarian literate of the century.

The history of the first years of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is also the history of canonization of the Hungarian language as a decisive factor of national identity.[6] This new model of identity challenges the Hungarus type of identity based on territoriality and the social constituents of the aristocratic identity.[7] The construction of the new identity is simultaneous with the exclusion of other types of identities. Its canonization is enforced not only synchonically, but also diachronically, the historical legitimation creating a history the core of which is constituted by the events that lead to the formation and development of the language-based national identity.

All these can draw our attention not only on those aspects of Hungarian history-making that are intimately linked with the views on national language, but also on the circumstance that the national identities of mid-nineteenth-century Hungarian culture are not fixed ones, though the preferred identity of later histories on the century is certainly the one based on language and canonized also by the functioning of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

3. "Pure and immaculate". Disciplines and cultural constructions in nineteenth-century Hungary. Adisciplinary  pragmatics of historiography

 The authoritative knowledge produced by the disciplines we work within has a paramount force in the articulation of the self-definition of everyone using the disciplines at issue. The chapter will attempt to look at the disciplinary subject of different disciplines (ethnography, dialectology, historiography and their relationship with literature) and will examine the ways they have been historically constituted in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture.

In his Folklore and materiality Erdélyi János argued for a joint understanding of the folklore and other poetic texts, practically making the cultural borders that separated nineteenth-century folklore texts and elite culture texts disappear: "I believe that if something is poetry, it shall necesssarily be treated as such, even if descending from the folk, folklore should be withdrawn from the general principle of poetry. And certainly one can perceive folklore as such poetry that - though having originated from an uneducated crowd - comes up to the mark of the aesthetics. In my opinion the only difference between the so-called high poetry and folklore consists in the latter sounding in a beginner's fragrance, in a timid frankness that resembles nature and the former bearing the marks of a distinguishment and of a more polished language, the latter is simple, the former foregrounds more signs of maturity and cultivation."[8]

Folklore is measured in a culturally different scale from its own cultural framework: the distinguishment hints to a culture highly concerned with its genealogy, respectively with the longevity and purity of this genealogy, revealing one more hidden link between the consciousness and mechanisms of self-legitimation of nineteenth-century Hungarian elite culture and its uses of the symbolism of an aristocratic type of class-representation.[9]

The mentioning of a polished language, a tradition and a cultivation as characteristics of an aesthetics-based poetry make exclusive use of the constituents of a culture that is defined by a written tradition.

A fine example of this may be that the folklore collections - as books - are considered the best places for one to find a perfect folklore text after having undergone a process of refinement. I quote from Gábor Kazinczy and Ferenc Toldy's introduction to a re-edition of a former collection of folklore texts: "The tales show us what a master  Gaal was in composing a round whole by means of leaving out and supplementing so as to fit the demands of the aesthetic idea. That is because the folk are unassuming and imperfect in terms of composition: the folk narrators always forget something, lengthen or their products lack the antecedents or the consequences. Thus the composition hardly ever denotes that wholeness and roundness the high poetry consciously aspires to."[10] It is not only the necessary imperfectness of the folklore texts outside the collection that is touched upon in the paragraph quoted above, but the tangible presence of the same texts in book form as the simulacrum for the whole that makes the field study of the individual less relevant, if not irrelevant at all. The focus on the written word almost exclusively functioning as an asthetic entity (and leaving out the possibilities of several other functions) in order to characterize a mainly oral type of culture with mainly non-aesthetic functions is also revealed by the ceaseless focus on the invariancy and textuality of the folklore culture at issue. Lecturing at one of the first scientific sessions of the Transylvanian Musaeum Society, Pál Gyulai pointed out some values carried by folklore poetry. Taking a closer inspection at the arguments advanced in his Contributions to Our Folklore reveals even more about the values and meanings attributed to folklore in the midst of nineteenth century. The ballad entitled Márton Ajgó had set out... "excels in originality": according to Gyulai, it can't be mistaken for neither any domestic or foreign ballad, being a work sui generis. And in a wider sense all ballads are similar to the one brought into discussion, for "real originality both in high and in folk poetry lies not so much in the object, the basic idea, but in the inventive and creative power of the spirit."[11] So, the value used first to measure the folklore texts is that of the individual creativity of the romantic high culture foregrounding the ideal of a text that is unique, never to be repeated again, thus closed and in this sense wholly invariant.

Some parts of the ballad quoted by Gyulai seem to be imperfect: "A thorough charge would be that Márton Ajgó's climbing up the tree is not sufficiently motivated. [...] These kinds of defects are not rare even with the most enthralling legends [...] for the fate of the legends is peculiar, too: in fact, their passing from mouth to mouth is the mechanism that arranges them, brings them together. Some of these come to be wholes, others remain at a certain stage of their formation, certain parts fade out from many texts and not a few of them are lengthened only to interefere with the process of their taking shape."[12]

In this way the most sensitive side of the folklore texts that is at the origin of their imperfection, hardly to be eliminated in their original context, is exactly their medium of handing down and the mechanisms that operate in this medium. The handing down in writing of the texts - even implicitly hinted upon in the excerpt qouted above - is viewed as a much more valuable process than the oral one, for - in Gyulai's perception - it insures texts against any kind of alteration.[13]

The unaltered text and the written medium that is fit for producing and handing down such texts are both products of a elite literary way to imagine a culture that needs continuous preservation and unaltered record of its values.

But before drawing some interim conclusions regarding the disciplinary embeddings of these ideas, let me bring one more example of the values the system in question is oriented towards. In the 1862 volume of the Szépirodalmi Figyelő Pál Gyulai published a treatise on several aspects of the Hungarian folk tale. Touching upon János Arany's critique of Merényi's folk-collection, the Contributions to Our Folk Tales sketches the process the writer of the treatise himself started in order to find an even "more complete, more beautiful and more poetic"[14] variant of the folk-tale that Arany mentioned in comparison with the sample Merényi's collection had offered: "I did everything to obtain this tale in its entirety. I asked children, aged women, maidens, nurses, coachmen, briefly all I had ever heard a tale from. In vain. Anyone who remembered it, recalled only faded fragments of it."[15] The variant regarded as a fragment sheds light on the nature of the logic that determines the relationship of the variant to that of the invariant.

The category of the fragment functions already as a (negatively) value-loaded category regarding the Hungarian (unlike most Western European Romantic) literary texts of the period. For instance, Toldy's edition of Csokonai, Gyulai's edition of Vörösmarty, Madách or Petőfi (be it the early edition of Petőfi's proseworks or the 1874 edition attributable to both Gyulai and Greguss) position the fragments (together with the so-called 'immature works') mainly to the end of the edition, or they are even omitted like when editing Madách (in 1882) or in the case of the 1874 edition de luxe of Petőfi. Thus the fragments of a poetic work come either very close or have a similar position to those of an uncertain authorship, actually constituting the periphery of a certain oeuvre. They seem to be considered to be less important and needing less interpretative attention than the non-fragmental parts of the corpus, i.e. those components that from a certain point of view become regarded as 'wholes'.

The last example draws the attention to a whole discipline that seems to enforce a certain type of text: the product of a unique creative process, with aesthetic qualities, ethically unobjectionable, structurally whole. Nineteenth-century Hungarian diachronic philology's notion of text was also paired with several strategies devised for obtaining and dealing with both suitable and unacceptable texts: among these one could mention the relative power of the editor to position, to value and even to alter the text according to his aesthetic and ethic standards.

Viewed from this point the necessary imperfectness of the folklore texts as perceived at the middle of the nineteenth century, together with the special status of the folklore collector as the person regaining the perfect state of the folklore texts draw the attention to philology, a discipline itself transcending several other disciplines (belles-letres, different types of historiography), carrying and enforcing of an elite culture. Thus philology stands not only for a set of poetic (or as claimed sometimes since then: mechanic) rules, but for a discipline embedded in a whole system of intimately related interpretative power frameworks through which a literati community views, enforces itself, the values of his [sic!] own culture even when claiming to have been confronted with horizons and values of other types of cultures.

          Before I proceed to show the connections of this philology-based cultural construct with the way other disciplines of the time were connected to this construct I would like to emphasise the extraordinary power and firmness of this cultural framework through a series of interrelated examples. Let me foreground the case of János Kriza, one of the most praised folk-collectors for his classic collection entitled Vadrózsák ('Wild Roses'). The story of this collection partially reconstructed from archive materials sheds light upon the resolute and systemac character of the epistemology behind -not only, but also - the great folklore collections of the nineteenth century.

Kriza's correspondence with Gyulai[16] on the then forthcoming collection of Vadrózsák dates from the end of the 1850's and the beginning of the 1860's, and bears witness to many of Gyulai's worries and actions towards Kriza's methods, and, of course, highlights his own method. In a letter dating from August 12, 1862 Kriza gave account of the texts he had prepared for this edition: "I send my greetings to Arany - I really enjoy the tales of his Laci[17]. Compared to his, my tales will be slightly rustic, but in literary life, just like in the social one, there should be some entitites belonging to such a class. This is how the peasants can easily become educated gentlemanlike people."[18] The ideal scale in comparison to which he defines the tales prepared by him goes from peasantry to gentlemanliness, the social order being transformed into a literary one, too. It is no wonder why Kriza's aim of regaining the voice of the peasant informant didn't achieve too much success. But what exactly did this aim of regaining imply? "I have got into the dialect so much that sometimes I catch myself in uttering hezzá, szüvet, vadnak [i.e. dialectic forms] whilst I speak.

Fortunately I am not a preaching clergyman, because I might blend it with the sermon [...] Nobody has ever prepared to edit so many literary things in such kind of dialectical form. I made meticulous inquiries so as even the last sound should be characteristically székely [Seklar]. [...] I took troubles with the texts - sometimes I had to write even two or three letters to Háromszék county for the right syllable or letter. [...] I believe I am ensured against falsehoods and 'literary winkings'."[19] Kriza's method is a great step towards regaining the informants's voice: mainly he still has no direct contact with his informants, but he is aware that the literary language employed by folklore-collectors actually changes the cultural framework of the informants' texts.

A letter dated from November 19, also 1862, reveals Gyulai's resistance and Kriza retreating in a way that will lead to a major change regarding the epistemological conditions within which his folklore collection will be elaborated: "There is no more misunderstanding on the question [...] I think I can already give you some pieces from Vadrózsák, as you suggested 'keeping the székely taste, but not the exact dialect'."[20]

The offspring of dialectology within the literary system arrives to similar consequences as the ethnographic aspirations that were first articulated within the same literary system: in the case of the former constructs of the dialects occurred, dialects being reshaped according to the tastes and values of a high culture, mainly disregarding the idiosyncratic elements that weren't consonant to the system or those components that weren't compatible with the cultural ideas of the elite on beautiful and acceptable sounding.

In the midst of the nineteenth century the aesthetic conception of literature emerging from the cultural struggles of the 1820-1840's imposed itself not only upon literary texts and phenomena, but also on the disciplines that, in their turn, emerged from the broader notion of literature and were trying to define themselves as autonomous entities. They took over from the values up even to the canonic notion of text of the aesthetic type of literary system.

It is enthralling to see how the notion of a literature governed by the value of the beautiful was so strong that it has even refunctionalized the notion of ars historica in the historiography of the age. "Historiography operates on the fields of science and art and wishes not only to search for, but also to write about the events and relations of bygone times, therefore it belongs to the realm of ars historica"[21]- argued Gusztáv Wenzel in a 1856 paper on the possibilities of Hungarian historiography. Gyulai Pál reflecting on an early monograph of Kálmán Thaly on János Bottyán also touched upon the necessity of a certain poetics of historiography that derives certainly from literary rules: "A work of real historiography belongs not only to science, but to a literature perceived in a narrower sense of the word. It requires a certain artistic inner form constituted by the power of composition, the lively fluidity of the narrator, the proportionate grouping of the events and the expressive drawing of the main actors"[22] The idea of a beautiful history modelled on the beautiful forms as exemplified by literature shows historiography also to be in close connection with the literary ideals of the age. Events and their textual representations were functioning within a belles-letres type of aesthetics of beautiful forms and texts refunctionalizing the ancient notion of ars historiographica.[23]

          During the first half of the nineteenth century Hungarian literature was thought to represent a whole nation. This representational function was the result of a whole process of struggle over how to show the nation's values to all those foreign critics claiming that Hungary had hardly ever created cultural values. Imagining literature (and its different genres, like the epic poem, the novel or the tragedy) as the appropriate medium to represent the nation brought about not only a special status for the literati engaged in literary affairs, but also a special politics of literature, including its genres, its communicational methods, poetic strategies, accepted and refused interpretational strategies, etc. The individualisation of several new disciplines emerging out of the process of a narrowing of the notion of literature and their attempt to define themselves as viable sciences (alongside the raising status of science in mid-nineteenth century) still made their relationship with literature an important aspect of their self-assertion and of their imposing themselves as important disciplines.

They took over not only its poetics, but also a politics engaged in a representative process of nation-construction.

4. Forgeries and forgerers: conceptions of history and their consequences in the belles-letres

4.1. Preliminary methodological considerations

The classical historical approach to historical forging and historical forgeries seems an orthodox Aristotelian one: be it historical or synchronic discourse, it usually sights at identifying and clearly separating what is "false" from what is "true". The stigmatization of the former category brings with itself the "eradication" of all those who have ever likely committed such an act.

I don't deny the productive outcomes of such a perception of historical forging, but in what follows the chapter will develop a somewhat different understanding of the phenomenon (as present in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture) with all the consequences that derive from it.

In a view that foregrounds the pragmatics of forging - since this would be the basis of the proposed conception of historical forging - historical forgery depends also on the interpretative community that makes use of it: for instance, other types of values are usually attached to its character and attitudes towards it may show its nature in a wholly changed way after being identified as forgery. But the recognition of the forged character of a certain historical document (and nonetheless of the event / the characteristics textualized in the document) may change not only its ontology, but also the customary and prevailing epistemology employed by a certain interpretative community so as to position itself regarding the text / event / circumstance at issue. In this sense also the ontology itself of the community is transfigured by the altered epistemology towards the event / text etc. that has turned out to be false.

Setting out from this, let us comprehend the phenomenon (as a diachronic phenomenon occurring in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture) not as something illegitimate that should be overcome and eradicated from the point of view of the historical research, but as an occurrence foregrounding a specific history of mentalities. Perceived as such historical forgery comes to the forefront as a phenomenon that could characterize the complexity of motivations, relationships that link a certain interpretive community[24] to the past, respectively the nature and consequences of these links.[25]

The chapter will be double-oriented: on the one hand it is going to articulate the possible resons that produced the mainstream of the Hungarian historical forgeries in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture (outlining also a probable value-system that accomplished, supported and accepted, then kept a part of the community in the dark about the forgeries), respectively the consequences of the master narratives that the historical forgeries helped to establish; on the other hand it will deal with the opragmatics of type of these narratives, namely those that might be called genetic ones.

4.2."The power of their vein is unforseeable". Forging history - ways of perceiving the past

The so-called Seklar chronicle from Csík / Ciuc that has proved to be a forgery after a century-long unremitting debate[26], contains a series of traces of allegedly old Seklar culture. The chronicle has chiefly been interpreted in the Hungarian historiographic tradition as a device for some XVIIIth-century families and Seklar communities to emphasize, prove and overstate their personal and communal genealogies. The forged Seklar chronicle has also been in the focus of historiographers highlighting the germs of late XVIIIth-century tendencies to embellish the national historiographic tradition. Next to this, but not irrespective of the former at all, stands the struggle of regional cultures to become part of the national representation. This effort is special since nation-construction usually seems to value homogeneity: the common traditions of the community at issue, values made central within the construction (welding it together) and suppressing all those elements that would split the construction up. Within this context at the beginning of the XIXth century several trends may be found that underrate the value of the Hungarian regional cultures. For instance, at the beginning of the XIXth century the palóc regional culture became the target of a handful of texts that denigrated the community, making a laughing-stock of the dialect and ridiculing those who spoke it.[27]

On the other hand, the self-representation of regional cultures acted on the offensive even more as an effect of this homogenizing tendency of the national culture, trying to make use of their specific values (be it synchronic or diachronic). To adhere to my former example, le me refer to those attempts that tried to counteract the underrating of the palóc community: according to one of these, the fact that this dialect diverges from the normative national one actually proves its archaic character making this community the perfect object for those who wish to study the pre-historical Hungarian culture.[28] The argument is a strong one of the endeavour to reposition, nay to canonize values that seem peripheral from the point of view of a normative national culture; the strength of the argument lays in a favourable reception of the Herderian ideas on the nature of living communities and folk culture to faithfully preserve and embody historical experiences.[29] This implicit criticism of the written historiographic tradition that appraised not only the role of folk traditions, but reinterpreted also the possibility of contemporary knowledge to contribute to historical knowledge, becomes obvious in passages like the following one: "The moment that causes historiography to leave off speaking and - so to say - makes dusk fall to antiquarian investigations, doesn's mean the end of all our guidelines. There is still a torch to shed light to life and to the spirit of time. It is not historiography that speaks here, but the serious muse of histories; there are not the data that certify, but life itself steps forward in form of [folk] poetry. This latter mirrors life also when it had long passed.

All people have poetry before history, or better to say, poetry is history that passes from father to son as a sacred heritage."[30] Hence local knowledge, for instance dialectal lore, might be of even higher value than the so-called national one because of its direct contact with archaic experiences.

From this peculiar point of view Hungarian nation-making can also be viewed as the terrain of rivalling regional cultures that tend to overrepresent or represent themselves positively so as to acquire a central role in the nation-making process, and thus to gain in prestige and consequently in decision-making power. Nation-making seems thus not an impersonal and automatic macroprocess, but also a system imbued with complex individual and microgroup interests. These interests often have a historical background, like the ones deeply rooted in medieval prerogatives in case of the forged Seklar chronicle. The narratives of privilege of the Seklars return in an age when exactly those privileges are weakened, making discernible the process along which former canonic structures are refunctionalized to become fighting fit and central in a new, raising model of the nation.  

            Another famous case of historical forgery that is worth studying is that of Literáti Nemes Sámuel. The antiquarian that was the Jankovich-family's services in the 1830's and 1840's, brought for Jankovich many allegedly ancient texts and objects - some of them being curios that aroused a wide public interest. The alleged prayer of Andrew I. was written with characters considered "Hunnish-Seklar".[31] Fostered also by the untraceable origin of many of his  acquisitions, the mistrust concerning his figure and antiquarian oeuvre led to a gradual revision of the texts and objects bought and copied by him. At this point let me be interested 'only' in the possible reasons of his forgeries employing his travel diary that has come down in manuscript form (and is almost an unknown source to Hungarian historiography)[32]. Certainly, reasons of personal fame and financial fulfilment are present among the chief motivations, but cannot be solely considered as such. There is also a tendency to exaggerate the national past, an attempt to endow it with senses, values and characteristics never to be found at other nations, thus making the nation itself stand out characteristically from among other nations. A section of Literáti's diary[33] dedicated to his travel to Zagreb can be cited as an example to illustrate this attitude: "On the 11th, just before lunch, when I wanted to enter the library of the Academy and was looking for Mr. Gregoric, I found myself in a room with all the professors of the Academy assembled. [...] [Y]ou can publish it in any newspaper that on the 11th of October when Your admirer walked in on the scholars of the Croatian capital, they were having a meeting in Hungarian language, hardly uttering a word in any other language. Shouldn't we be delighted that not only in Pest and Kolozsvár [Cluj], but also in Zagreb, the scholarly world so truly respects our language (a language so despised by the Árpád kings having a bad reputation). Amen."[34]

National language, its inherent qualities and its usages came to be perceived as carrying the possible standards of values for measuring the accomplishments (and thus the viable or unviable character) of the Hungarian culture. Therefore within this framework every sign of propagation and / or dissemination of the national language was interpreted as both a vindicative[35] and culture-building deed. These alleged virtues framed - among other reasons - also the strength of the historical forgeries (like those of Literáti) making source criticism be less susceptible to such possibilities. Similar upshots resulted from the biased orientation of the very same source criticism because of the possible consequences that could spring from a public recognition of the forged character of these texts as regards a whole culture.

Let me take another example from a a later period of XIXth century Hungarian culture in order to shed light to another type of system that fostered also exaggerated traditions backed often by historical proofs of more than ambiguous value. The construction of the millenary tradition brings forth - in spite of the excellent professional arrangements and control - also cases qualified as forgeries by many of the historians of the time. It is an inherent qulity of such events mobilizing an enormous amount of symbolic capital[36] to shape the individual parts of the system in a way that these should fit into the master narrative of progress the best way possible. The master narrative of the whole prescribes a telos also for the individual components. The more the telos of an individual component resembles those of the master narrative it inscribes itself in, the more central role it has within the representations of the events at issue. Hence the efforts of all having a stake in the representation to conform to the master narrative, nay to acquire a special role within it. This process favoures also the appearance of forgeries comparable to that of count Zichy Jenő. The count started out to find both his forefathers and implicitly the remains of the Hungarian in the Caucasus and found that not only the archaic kinships were existing and visible, but also the circumstance that these are directly linked to his family. In spite of the criticism of the experts, the constant and doubtless trust of the public in the authenticity of the objects brought from the Caucasus by Zichy decided partly the inclusion of the collection in the millennial Hungarian exhibition. Let me focus on the scientific reception of the collection since it could signal a paradigmatic change with regard to matters of both alleged and proved forgery: "The news came in quick succession. The Avars have been found! The Huns have benn found! The authentic Hungarian sword has also been found with the inscription 'Patrona Hungariae virgo Maria etc.' on it! As if Álmos himself would have worshipped this. The descendants of the archaic Hungarians have been located, including those of the Csáky, Bottlik, Bitto, Dargó, Szombathy families. The Zichy princely family has also been found together with the country, and this illustrious family adopted him as relative. [...] The leader returned, the syntagm 'they have been found' was uttered once again. But there was no mention of any reporting lecture or communiqué, not even in the club. [...] At last we have the work [reporting on the research expedition] dedicated to czar Nicholas II. and entitled The Voyages of Jenő Zichy in the Caucas and Central Asia- Conte Eugene de Zichy voyages au Caucase et en Asie Centrale. [...] For instance, the Mingrel woman - pictured on table no. XVI. - is an imported 'item' in spite of the divan and the can of the background. It is likely that she has an upper set of false teeth, being otherwise in the sharpest contradiction with everything the text says about the beauty of the Mingrel women. [...] [W]hen dealing with the Georgians, he isn't even put off his stride at all by the fact that the section is illustrated with the portrait of a Zichianoff prince. [...] The count competed with István Horvát in his enthusiasm-produced chauvinism and caught up successfully with those who make Hungarian language agree even with Chinese."[37]

The critical tone of Hermann's text already hints at the paradigm shift that has occurred in the 1890s regarding alleged and proved, synchronic and diachronic historical forgeries. Even though the 1830s brought with them a certain dissociation from the historiography of István Horvát (undervaluing tacitly and slowly also those parts of his historical oeuvre which were of high professional value[38]) and the1860s brought with them a regrading of Literáti's legacy, the paradigmatic and global reflection on the historical forgery as a phenomenon was missing. A private letter of the famous literary historian Toldy is symptomatic not only regarding to his personal attitude towards the issue, but concerning a whole discipline as such: "Be glad that our good and my dear Somogyi has remained silent. [...] My dear Gábor, it is a white lie to conceal such cases. Macpherson forged not only an English, but also a Gaelic Ossian: it took the Irish Academy and the highly advanced Gaelic linguistics eighty years till they disclosed the fraudulent secret. Wagenfeld forged a German, then a Greek Sanchuniaton; criticism excelled in exposing the forgery in both cases. Our good friend hasn't succeeded in [making a good forgery and] deceiving specialists: while some laugh at or are annoyed at his fabrication, Hungarian historical criticism has had the easy job of demonstrating the obvious fabrication. And let's be glad that they have been quiet till now! [...] But Macpherson, Wagenfeld and Somogyi are fine fellows, even if they have been the fanatics of an ingrained idea or of an ill ambition; even if we smile at the vulnerability of our scholar, he still deserves appreciation. But - heaven forbid - don't even mention it to him: everything is said sub rosa and I would have withheld it from you, hadn't you provoked me."[39]       

Or, to quote Károly Tagányi's retrospective view on the very subtle forgeries of József Kemény written on the occasion of the issuing of the Transylvanian "Saxon" collection of documents, entitled Urkunderbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenbügen[40]: "[Kemény]'s forgeries reach considerable figures even if we take into account only those charters with which the 'grateful' publishers hurried to 'enrich' their collection. Let us husten to enjoy the forgeries of our collection, so that once and for all we would put an end publicly (because for the specialist it wasn't quite a secret) to this disgraceful pretence that has already costed many deceptions and mistakes."[41]   

Such observations according to which many of the scholars of the time were aware of the historical forgeries could support my hypothesis according to which Hungarian historiography of the XIXth century regarded a possible public confrontation with the phenomenon of historical forgery as a procedure that could undermine the claims of the same historiography to be the par excellence discipline of Hungarian collective memory-making[42], able to mimetically reconstruct an unaltered ancient Hungarian past.

The discourse of the disciplinary criticism after the paradigmatic shift of the 1890s on past and present historical forgeries is carries also a view of the discipline within the framework of which it defines itself. The polarizing hypercritical position of the texts suggests a clear-cut distinction between a true and a false historiography, arguing that in spite of the century-long historical forgeries, historiography can still make a clear difference between fictional and factual (of course, for the benefit of the latter).  

For the beginning let us take a metaphor that recurs in an obsessive way - the trope of the poison: "The major matter is not that the present volume comprises nine forged charters, [...] but the fact that the power of their poison is unforeseeable. Just as the potential of that small, insignificant contagious substance that - once having intruded into the blood -makes the whole rising generation stunted."[43]

The comparison with the danger of a possible degeneration of the genealogy and the commmunity clearly suggests an intimate link between Hungarian national historiography and the vision on the genealogy, and implicitly on the alleged sound character of the nation. In this context historical forgery is considered an impediment in the unfolding of  national history within which the nation manifest itself as a sound body, or - better to say - as the rippling of the good health in a historical row of closely interconnected bodies. Thus the sound history becomes also the sound, paradisiacal and immemorial diachronic narrative of the nation. According to the logic of this system, historical forgery - by impeding with the faithful representation of the national past - actually questions the wished rejuvenation of a whole national community.

According to another occurrence: "in a certain sense of the word, a real scholar of history is able to use forgeries, the way a physician employs poison."[44]. The attempt to dissociate the discipline from the historical forgeries that had sprung from within it inevitably leads to the development of strategies are seen to reposition the discipline itself. One of this strategies, as alluded to in the qouted text, is a negative inclusion of forgery into historiography by presenting it in a pedagogical way, as a phenomenon that is not worthy of imitation. But, this inclusive exclusion (as it might be called) means also a framing of the non-referential or semi-referential entities within the historiographical system perceived as a highly referential framework. Framing the poison into the sound body - if one would toy with the metaphors suggested by historical criticim itself. Anyway, what is to be underlined is the subtle contact between the historical referential and the historical non-referential / semi-referential by means of the phenomenon of historical forgery, this connection - among others - making plausibly interpretable the questioning of the objectivistic historical dicourse in certain media of Hungarian culture of the time - a problem to be treated subsequently.

But before that, let me take an example to show the way historical forgery is perceived as a phenomenon breaking up a homogenous, converging history and its representation. The discipline itself is shown as a unity, rather a single, almost telos-centred narrative, than the space of the divergent and diverse (hi)stories: "If we compare history to a building, then historical cronological order is the plaster holding the stones of the building together. And a wrongly dated charter is like the wrongly fitted stone. It disrupts the unity of all the others, weakening, disfiguring the whole wall. [...] Furthermore, the undated charters are such as those carved stones that are impossible to place. Those of the kind remain either unused or - if put on the wrong place - uglify the wall."[45]

The idea of a beautiful history that englobes the germs of the aesthetical is striking again. Norms like those of proportionality and unity standing on the basis of this aesthetic effect suggest an alleged inherent beauty (and consequently, ethical character) of the historical occurences, respectively a certain  poetic rendering of the very same occurences. This view of beautiful history (both as inherent in the events and constructed through certain poetic norms of historiography) indirectly indebted to an already fading eschatological view on the past (that is beautiful and moral exactly because of being led by an omnipotent and omniscient divine force). Moreover the same vision is intimately linked with the norm of the beautiful past expected from and realized by the epic poem, nay it is intensified by the canonization of a new type of literature and literary text from the 1830s onwards: the literary text and literature based on the value of the aesthetical. From this point of view, the fact that - approximately till the midst of nineteenth century - Hungarian literature comprises also historiography seems a highly relevant circumstance in establishing the historical grounds for this common conception on the beautiful past shared by disciplines that would come apart after the aforesaid period.

            The reception of the Hungarian historical forgeries in the XIXth century brings to the forefront a raising historiography that defines itself strictly along the notions of mimetic representation also when facing cases of non-mimetical representation. The possible events and the ones that never occurred are fully and overtly excluded from this system. This epistemological feature of the self-definition of the historiographic discipline is stable also the major cases of historical forgery of the period. On the other hand, segments of the culture, other than the historiographic discipline, that are also closely interested in the discourse on the past seem to reflect on the cases of forgery in a wholly other way.

The concealing attitude of the historiographic discipline seems to be established also by the gradual changes in the structure of the historical notion of literature. This is not only a narrowing process through which the historical notion of literature becomes segmented into different disciplines, but also a reevaluation of its pragmatics and the semantics of those composing it. The reevaluating process is - among other directions / orientations - headed also towards a new ideal of sholarliness set by the epistemology  of the sciences, taking sight at conveying their object in an 'exact' way. When historiography defines itself as the discipline and science of the national memory, being able to regain the past in a highly accurate way, it also declines all the representational methods that would point to a possible, fragmented and partial representation of the past.

The belles-letres also experience the same process at the midst of the nineteenth-century: in the 1850s criticism and literary history try to define themselves as scientific methods of representing the world[46] and Arany's epic poetry of this period can be viewed as a struggle in this sense, too.[47] The gradual specialization of historiography on the revealing of 'the accurate national past' meant the articulation of the discipline as a specific discipline, (not interchangable with other disciplines), with specific values and truths, (not substitutable with the values and thruths of other disciplines), with specialists, specific institutions authorized to utter the truths specific to the discipline. This process of specialization brought about a reevaluation of the media and of the genres that can make statements on the past, respectively stated the value of the different types of statements, too.

The changed in the system of the discourse about the past made another genre quite instable, looking for new definitions. The historical novel - since this is the genre at issue - after a several decade-long canonization process (since the novel itself was a hardly accepted genre of the Hungarian literary system, standing in the lower part of the poetical hierarchies of the first part of the century till the resounding success of Abafi published by Miklós Jósika in 1836) loses its strategic position to mimetically represent the national past after the novelistic achievements of Zsigmond Kemény in the 1840s-1860s..

Actually, in my opinion, the scruple concerning an accurate reconstruction of the past within this genre and the possibilities and potentialities of this type of novel had existed even from the beginning and along the career of the mimetic historical representations in the genre at issue. Let me exemplify this statement by an excerpt from a letter addressed by Zsigmond Kemény to Miklós Jósika on December 15, 1845: "Another question: have you ever ignored the personal relationships of your heroes the way Goethe did in count Egmond's case? I found a manuscript in the manuscript archives of the Unitarians according to which Gyulai Pál' s wife was a woman from the Füzy family and Jósika (of whom your novel will be written on) ruined him because he was in love with his wife. I want to ignore both Gyulai's marriage and Jósika's wiles, nay I have made my hero younger so as to have an adventure with a younger woman cum honore. The question is: is this allowed?"[48]

This special state of the affairs apropos of the  historical novel that made it vacillate from a complete refusal of its representations to a high appreciation along the functions of another medium, that of historiography, from a contested epistemology within the framework of the novel itself to necessity to redefine itself amid an altered literary and representational system. According to my mind this semi-stable, changing situation leads to the apparition of a paradigm of the Hungarian historical novel that - rather than trying to mimetically and accurately reconstruct a more or less remote past - reflects on the problems that arise from any discourse on the past.

The corpus is local since it is limited to several novels of Kálmán Mikszáth (and several novels of Mór Jókai that could be considered preliminaries of this subgenre of the historical novel), but it is paradigmatic in its considerable force that made the reception consider some of the questions raised by the texts at issue. 

The New Story about Zrínyi alluding already from its title to the epic tradition of the historical representation in general, and to the canonic epic poem written on the issue in particular, is the story of the XVIth-century patriot rising again from the dead together with his soldiers defeated in a decisive battle fought against the Turkish forces. The act of raising the heroes from the dead proves hasty and a mistake of the divine forces, signalling a rupture from the divine, centralized, teleological idea of history and the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent first mover and Providence-based character of the human occurences from the very beginning of the story. At the same time the circumstance critically reflects on the genetic master narrative of the Western culture provided by the Bible. From the point of view of this master narrative, the story told by Mikszáth's novel is an illegitimate and non-canonic one. So are the main figures of the text from the point of view of canonic historical representation.

But the ceaseless reflections on the canonic and traditional ways to represent the past often pose the questions of legitimacy / illegitimacy along the story. For instance, seeing Jókai's mid-century successful play on him, a work used also as a major historic representation throughout the millennium, Zrínyi considers it as mendacious. But neither the narrator of the novel is the omniscient story-teller one could have been used to: he often foregrounds that his knowledge is mediated by other texts, be it synchronic or diachronic, and he has got his news second-hand. The finishing of the novel reaches for an excerpt of the intertext it alluded to already in its title: the canonic epic poem written by the poet-hero descendant of Zrínyi, reworking its semantics by qualifying the reality represented by the quoted verses as a 'dream'. Thus it brings to the forefront not only the importance of the medium of the representation (the past represented in an epic poem has a wholly different ontology and epistemology from the one represented in a historical novel), but also the historical character of the different representations: their intimate links with different traditions of historical representations in different periods.

And last but not least, the novel under discussion foregrounds the issue of the authentic and the replica. According to the answer given by the text no perfect replica is possible: for instance, not only the Bible is reworked when used, but when quoting a passage from Horatius' Ars poetica urging an identical death of the heroes with the original one, the figure of Patacsics changes the original Haec decies repetita placebit on the beauty of the identical occurings into a vulgar Latin Bis repetita placent. So nor even the canonic poetic discourse on the possibility of identical representation remains identical. Representation has always a novel ontology as compared to the original, being something new, itself an original, a re-presentation. And the central figure through which the issue of the nature of historical knowledge (together with the agents and texts that produce and construct this knowledge) is brought up, is a semi-referential historical figure, existing in this form only through its representation within the novel. Such a non-canonic, semi-referential hero reminiscent of the figures, events and circumstances created by the Hungarian historical forgeries of the same century, is in the focus of another unconventional historical novel of the same author, entitled The speaking cloak. The Tukish-Hungarian fightings come to an abrupt end when the Hungarians of this latter novel receive an extraordinary present from a Turkish leader, consisting in a cloak that makes every Turk listen to the one that puts it on. The Hungarians of Lőcse - because this is the community the present was given to - are not able to discern the sign that makes the enemy yield to them every time it encounters the wearer of the cloak; they just take the signifier of the sign for the invisible signified. Thus the attemt of an influential community-member to sew an identical cloak inevitably ends in failure, because it constructs the original sign in a completely different way than those who have created it. The concluding part of the text shows the famous nineteenth-century Hungarian forgerer, Sámuel Nemes Literáti settling for the posterity what was a thorny question even for those in Lőcse: the state of the original, 'speaking' cloak. Here, in this text, the presence of the forgerer itself poses the questions on the nature of historical reconstruction, the epistemology of traditions belonging to different cultural communities, and last but not least regarding the problematic figure of the historian that decides in matters of past. 

The experience of the artefactual character of the re-constructed and re-presented national past and the past in general is much indebted to the historical forgery as a phenomenon of nineteenth-century European culture. Viewed from this point it is not accidental that Mikszáth's reflexive historical novels are published in exactly the same period historiography finally decides to face the problem of a whole century of historical forgeries. The answer of the disciplinary historiography and the type of novel with a wholly different epistemological tradition falls apart. The latter uses the experience of the historical forgeries to reflect on the epistemologic nature of its own foundations and in the foundations of the discourse on the past in general.

The experiences that shake historiography and its rankean epistemology and struggle to become a representative discipline are completely productive in another segment of Hunmgarian culture that has problems with the objectivistic project from its very beginning, respectively had had a changing status before the end of the 1890s. A paradigm of the historical novel becomes playful and ironic by integrating the value of the possible present in the phenomenon of historical forgeries, becoming thus a historical metafiction[49] reflecting on a wide range of possibilities of speaking about the past. 

5. Imagining the past: geographies of bygone Hungarian times

The visual representation of the archaic times is not just another type of historical representation of nineteenth-century Hungarian discourse on the past, but a strategy of legitimation in the era of programmatic cultural discoveries when getting acquainted with things other than the known ones (be it parts of another or the same culture) became an aim in itself.[50]

Science has its poetics (a historical one, of course, changing from one historical epoch to another) and the imaginary geographies constructed on the archaic history of Hungary and Transylvania can be interpreted as an essential and organic part of this kind of poetical tradition of nineteenth-century Hungarian culture. From this point of view the conflicting imaginary geographies allude both to the different ways to conceptualise the Hungarian past and the different (meanwhile some canonized, some prohibited) ways  to do scientific investigation.

In this sense an excellent milestone to start at is the case of Magyarvár (The Hungarian Castle), an imagined, but symbolic place for all those believing in the nineteenth century in the Caucasus-based origin of the Hungarians.

In the row of hypotheses regarding the origin of Magyarvár a special status is associated to the travel diaries and their accounts of the travellers since their 'direct experiences'. This type of verosimilic argument makes that the travel notes of Sándor Csoma Kőrősi are often quoted by those who argue for the existence of Magyarvár throughout the nineteenth century. He himself is looking for the primeval Hungarian places more eastward, in the region of Bokhara (approximately in today's Uzbekistan). As regards their migratory rout he accepts without reserves the idea according to which they had gone over Persia, too, in their way to Europe. Let me quote from his last will and testament formulated on March 1, 1821 in Teheran and published four years later in the periodical Tudományos Gyűjtemény: "From the foregoing it is clear that our ancestors started off from here as cultivated people centuries before Christ, and from here onwards they were headed for Arabia, maybe for Abyssinia, then Syria, Assyria, Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Europe."[51]

In 1824 Gergely Jaksics who has already been in Asia returns there, surprising a great many people when he is said to have reached the Caucasus, "the ancient Hungarian land", having discovered also more than seven million people "mixed with Mohammedans, Persans and Mongols" and speaking Hungarian. Even if after forty years Ferenc Toldy rejects the ideas and experiences of Gergely Jaksics or Nazár Szabó, he considers the ruins of Magyarvár a geographical reality beyond any dispute.

            Another geography, rivalling the former one, is the one springing from the Finno-Ugrian theory on the history of the Hungarians. In 1770, a Hungarian priest takes sides regarding the alleged Finno-Ugric origin of the Magyars. János Sajnovics is actually one from a considerable number of scholars, because in general the literati like Strahlenberg, Pallas or Schlözer document with an increasing amount of linguistic material the alleged analogies between Hungarian and the different Finno-Ugrian languages. Western Siberia or a region called Jugria (or Juhria) and placed in the northern part of Russia are more and more often referred to. But then the major question that occurs is: how did the ancient Hungarians go to Scythia and where did they go from there? From the south to Jugria or to the south from there? One thing is sure: the Finno-Ugrian conception (canonized meanwhile) brought about not only a theory that stirred many passions during the nineteenth century, but also because it gave rise to a characteristic imaginary geography permeated with images used in utterly different ways by the adherents of the theory and its opponents.

Geographical images are sometimes highly historical. An imaginary homeland that still has adherents in the first three decades of the nineteenth century is related to the concept of the biblical origin of the Hunagarian nation that goes back much beyond the century at issue. The original framework it inscribed into before the nineteenth century was that on the divine origin and the chosen nature of the Hungarians that made them similar to the biblical Jews. This narrative of similarity and chosenness produced both a positive self-view and an eschatological explanation for the problematic and negative issues of the present and the past, having a teleological future of the promised divine care. The images associated with the biblical theory of the origins of the Magyars go hand in hand with the images of the Bible employing Egypt, Plaestine etc. It is worth dwelling on some excerpts from the oeuvre a most zealous devotee of the concept, the historian István Horvát. In his courses delivered at the University of Pest he sketches rather a universal, than a local history for his nation: "In the first instance it should be known that - according to Moses - the history of mankind begins with the history of the Hungarian nation. Moses was born in Egypt, he was educated there and his aim was not [from the beginning] to really encourage the knowledge of the Lord. That is why he could only write about the genesis what he had heard about it in Egypt. But the inhabitants of Egypt of that time were the Hungarians. In the Holy Scripture no Egypt can be found, only Maszar. The word Egypt appears only later and means nothing else than Germany. So the Germans came to Egypt just after the Hungarians. They were called 'those having a plait' (cofos) or mutes, beause they were forbidden to speak with other nations. [...] All the ancient writers agree on Egypt being the cradle of humankind, the land where those gigantic pyramids can be found that are called the columns of the Scythians, i. e. Columnae filiorum Sethi. The Holy Bible comprises many Hungarian words and the Arabic writers say that the first human was called Adam since God created him from earth. But his real name was Gyula. The ancient scholars often mention Vulcanus and 'vulcanus' means 'to catch fire'. But 'gyul' means the very same."[52]

The enormous differences between the different conceptions are obvious. The theory on the biblical origin of the Hungarians cannot accept Jugria, but neither the assumption that the Hungarians would have come from Central Asia. The adherents of the Finno-Ugric theory can hardly imagine strong links with the Caucasus or Persia, respectively they are forced to deny any connection with the Huns, the Avars, the Jász and the Párthus people.

So the genetic master narratives all have their corresponding imaginary geographies. The rivalry between the 'real' homelands is also the rivalry of the imagined homelands, of rival images of them.  

  An attempt to reconcile the diverging genetic master narratives was initiated at the end of the XVIIIth century. But the Pan-Hungarian idea - because this is the concept at issue - ended in failure, because Schlözer and his fellow-scholars took the offensive against it. Actually, this failure of the Pan-Hungarian idea, as well as the pragmatics of the afore-mentioned other concepts on the genesis of the Hungarian nation can be regarded as textbook examples of the cultural embeddedness and politics of every scientific idea and argumentation. Both for Schlözer[53]  and most of the Hungarians to have Finno-Ugric historical relationships meant a theory of a humiliating ancestry in an age when grand genetic links prescribed the right to a glorious present. The struggle to assign the most ancient genesis possible to one's community sometimes meant not only to position oneself but the other community, too - as is clearly shown by Horvát's text alluding to the genetic struggle between the Hungarians and the Germanic people. 

The vindicative answer that is much indebted to the role circumscribed formerly by the theodicaea is a direct response given on the level of diachrony to the alleged cultural backwardness, an argument put forward by many German scholars. In this context when vindication is the telos of paramount force, the poetics of the sciences, respectively of the theories involved in the discourse on the past is definitely defined by their power to argument a diachronic viability of the nation. Thus the value of those theories and the imaginary geographies associated to them that seem to endanger the success of the vindicative process - such a theory is, for instance, that of the Finno-Ugric descent -is depreciated. For instance, the density of the discourse opposing to the theory of Finno-Ugric descent from this specific point of view can be easely discerned from the fact that the most influential periodical of the 1820s abounds with materials of this type: if we take for example the1822 and 1822 volumes of Tudománytár, it publishes at least seven studies of considerable proportions that refute the Finno-Ugric theory in a vindicative way.[54]

The imaginary geographies of the Hungarian past in the nineteenth century are essentially images of imagined homelands.[55] The imagaginary homelands foregrounding the genesis of the Hungarian nation could be regarded as a refunctionalized components of the national identity, since the model of the pre-XVIIIth-XIXth-century conception of the Hungarian nation is a structure based on the Hungarian (in the sense of Hungarus) aristocracy as the community legally representing by the nation. On the other hand a structuring privilege of the aristocracy is nothing but the value of personal genealogy.

So the aristocratic concept of self-definition and representative value bcomes also a representative value within the new structure and notion of the nation, even though the aristocracy gradually loses its positions to be the only community that can legally represent the whole national community.

The genesis and the genealogy as concepts and as image-generating concepts dominate all the genres of nineteenth-century Hungarian culture that try to define themselves as representing the past of the nation. From the epic poems of Mihály Vörösmarty, Márton Debreczeni and Endre Horvát Pázmándi in the 1830s to Ferenc Toldy's literary histories in the 1850s-1860s and the imaginary of the Kazinczy commemoration festivals of the same period[56], all seem to be structured on the model of the nineteenth-century idea of the Hungarian nation (which, on its turn is partly structured on the aristocratic idea of self-representation) that rests partly on the idea of a glorious genesis and genealogy that can be retraced for purposes of founding the present.

 6.1.  The Hungarian millennium: discourses on the national past and communities of interpretation

The construction of the Hungarian millennium as an event is a textbook example of the way the poetics and politics of history-making converge. In this sense the past is modelled not only according to the event that once had occurred, but by the passing on the representation of the event, respectively by the ideas of representation, values and interests of the present in general and of different communities of interpretation in particular.

As an example let me refer briefly to the premises and the first arrangements of the millennial celebrations such as the decision on the correct date of the Hungarian conquest, and consequently regarding the exact time of the celebrations. On October 17, 1892 the Hungarian government turns to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in order that this would decide the date of the conqest. The board assigned for the issue cannot take a common decision and three of the historians that accept to share their opinion with the assignor and the public. According to Gyula Pauler the occupation of the lands over the Danube can only be considered the end of the conquest; therefore the event itself is positioned by him to the year 900. Ferenc Salamon has a similar opinion to Pauler, but decides in favour of the year 898. Károly Szabó declares that an accurate answer cannot be given, but it is certain that in 898 already the whole territory was taken possession of. The Hungarian academy of Sciences doesn't mediate among the three opinions and passes them on to the Parliament. The latter, due to economic and political considerations takes the decision in favour of the commemorative year 1895 (and implicitly in favour of 895 as the year of the Hungarian conquest) and in 1893 - reckoning that the remaining time is not enough for the completion of the constructions - rectifies the former Act codifying the year 1896 as the year of the millennial celebrations (and consequently the year 896 to be celebrated).

So the final decision on the event to follow and consequently on the nation-founding event that occurred in the past is a political one that transcends the complex constructs and arguments of the historians (using it at the same time), illustrating well both the poetics and the use of the poetics, i.e. politics of the remembrance of the event[57] and the hierarchy of the decision-making factors of the framework, respectively space of power the remembered, re-constructed event is inscribed into. Viewing the relationship of the decision-making factors, the specialization of the politic subsystem of the Hungarian culture can be underlined; the increased decision-making power of the former makes it often prevail over other subsytems (for instance, that of historiography) and take over their functions (for instance, of modelling the events, be they historical or not). But the politic subsystem of the Hungarian culture is not the only medium that acquires new functions at the time of the millennial celebrations. The use of public space bears evidences of major differences compared to the politics of remembering of the mid-century commemorations employing the public space. The erection of statues and commemorative pulchres within the public space in honour of the literati and of the major figures of Hungarian canonic history, the cultic public use of the potraits and personal belongings of the same category of figures, the raise of the humanist type of museums signal a paradigmatically changed attitude towards the literati and the humanist type of national culture, respectively the idea of the need of macrocommunal remembering in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture from the 1830s onwards.[58] The millennial celebrations, and particularly the millennial exhibition as a focalising point of the celebrations could be viewed as a reconsideration of the literary cults, of their remembering techniques and the historical culture in general mainly by means of the coming into sight of the latest technological achievements both in the realization of the objects of the millennial exhibition and in foregrounding technology as a phenomenon that is to be contemplated and remembered.

Within the millennial exhibition a whole village - the so-called millennial village - is built presented as an accurate and successful reconstruction of the historical past: it has buildings and memorials that evoke and allegedly represent the events considered to be of major importance of the Hungarian past. For instance, a whole Turkish community is reconstructed from the time of the Ottoman occupation, with Turks, and even a fakir is brought from the Middle East. On the other hand not only the historical past is presented as something worth valuing, but also the present is attached values that make it seem to rival the achievements of the historical past. The latter phenomenon often similarly employs architectural entities: the building of many expositional pavilions (considered as works of art), new bridges over the Danube (presented as symbols of unity between the historical Buda and the new Pest), the erection of several connected monuments in different symbolically interpreted spots of Hungary and Transylvania, and so on. All these pinpoint not only at the new values attached to the techniacal progress, but also that this technical progress is presented as a foremost value of the present, the achievements of the present being described with the representations and techniques formerly employed to represent the canonic events and realizations of the past. The greatness of the present is described in terms of representing the historical past since the representations of XIXth-century history have mainly converged towards the representations of achievements. The raising status of the present, of the synchronic events of Hungarian national community has its history, too, in nineteenth-century Hungarian culture: from the issuing of Szilágyi's Klió, a historical journal dedicated to matters of the synchronic times, to the representations of the 1848 revolution in diaries and memoirs and not forgetting the assertions of the mid-century commemorations according to which the nation celebrates itself through the remembering of its past glory and major figures.

On the other hand the celebrated space of the present is not also a virtual space of the nation: the use and symbolic structuring of the public space of the whole Hungary and Transylvania (by the afore-mentioned erection of memorials in interconnected spot of these territories), respectively the construction of a homogeneous national space by transforming the geographic spaces of the national community into cultural spaces: a fine example of the latter case is the employing of pictures of 'representative' 'national' spaces in the official four-language millennial album entitled The Millennium of Hungary and the National Exhibition[59]. These procedures of constructing the national cultural space are  based also on former representations of the national space on the occasion of the mid-century commemorations of the literati. For instance the 1859-1860 commemorations in honour of Kazinczy took place in more than 120 places of the country giving a sense of relatedness and homogeneity for those participating at them. The major difference between the aforementioned procedures and millennial way of constructing the common national space is that the latter pushes to the edges the controlled and centralised character of the construction of the communal space at issue.

            By means of the special status and persuasive force in the politics of commemoration of the millennial exhibition the latest technological achievements are often used to represent issues of the canonic past: technology thus becomes a canonic way to represent the past worthy of re-construction. For instance: the influential daily paper Fővárosi Lapok informs that "James Pale, the English pyrotechnist, famous for the fireworks of the Chicago exposition and the organizer of the firework celebrations on the occasion of the coronation of tsar in Russia stays in Budapest in these days. During the whole exhibition he will present his splendid show every evening. The programme will take place within the side of the exhibition called Constantinople. The illustrious pyrotechnist will display famous scenes of Hungarian history in images of fire: the christening of Vajk, Árpád lifted on the shield, the coronation of St. Stephen, King Matthias entering Vienna, Maria Theresa in the well-known scene of [the aristocrats uttering] 'Vitam et sanguinem', the coronation of our king etc."[60]     

Pale's case is not singular: from the balloon that could be hired to view the panorama of the exhibition, the main space of millennial representation, to the latest technological inventions exhibited in the different exhibition pavilions or to the travel across four miles of Budapest till the main gate of the exhibition with the first metro of Europe - all these suggest also the use of the latest technology as an independent representatational object (and not only as representational method, like in Pale's case) of national representation. The phenomenon can actually be considered as the outcome of a whole process I have already touched upon in former chapters: the increasing reputation of the sciences throughout the second half of nineteenth-century Hungarian culture and the subsequent change of the canonic representational methods and media this paradigmatic shift brough about. I have already pointed out that nineteenth-century Hungarian philology interpreting its object in the framework of the representational process of the nation has not only a poetics, but also a politics, then let me pinpoint at the same issue also in case of the use of technology during the millennial celebrations. From the very moment of its canonization science not only changes the structure of the accepted and rejected ways to represent the nation, but it also becomes altered by being used to represent the national community: during throughout the millennial celebrations the politics of its use is as evident as the its poetics.

6. 2. All (?) in a book: the millennial album

The official[61] commemorative album is another medium of canonic representation of the state of affairs of the millennial times that is worth discussing. The core of this chapter will focus on the way the album pictures some the allogens, contrasting it with the self-representation of the respective ethnic communities, respectively with other representations on them. 

The ethnic communities are usually referred to a single time and are pictured as coherent groups, this making their grasping seem unproblematic. Nay, this epistemology suggesting the necessity of a 'simple' viewer and of a 'simple' view because of the alleged plain character of the respective ethnic group (as opposed to that of the Hungarians who - by being presented from several aspects - seem more complex) estalishes a hierarchy between the Hungarians and the allogens of the album.

On the other hand the album also positions the different ethnic communities often by establishing a link between the Hungarian community and the allogen group at issue and introducing subtle, value-loaded labels regarding the cultures in question. For instance, the Romanians are represented as follows[62]: "Among the different races of Hungary, the Ruman (walach) population, occupies, with regard to numbers, an important position. The [R]umanians came into Hungary, and Transylvania, during the XVth century, filling the gaps in the population, caused by the [T]urkish wars, and replacing the vaning [H]ungarian population. Now they are steadily advancing in culture under the brotherly protection of the [H]ungarians. They are still shepherds and agriculturists, but are quickwitted, their customs are modest and their wants easily satisfied. Our picture represents the dwelling-place of a well-to-do [R]omanian peasant."[63]  The text not only describes, but also evaluates when presenting the Romanians: their advancement in matters of learning[64] is possible only due to the Hungarians, this implying a collective civilizational gap between the two groups.[65] The passage touching on the alleged needs of the Romanians is also heavily value-loaded: in a culture where the notion of the specialist is intimately linked to the notion of refinement (refined taste and refined knowledge) [66], the lack of refinement regarding the needs, preferences and values of a community alludes to a rudimentary character of the very same group.

6. 3. 'Our paradise' vs. 'their decadence'

The homogeneity that is often underlined in the discourse of the millennium regarding the participation of the 'whole' nation in the millennial celebrations and proves to be a recurrent idea of the album, too, covers up the criticism of the ethnic groups that signals both the contested nature of the idea of a homogenous unity and the another interpretation of the notion of the nation. If the prevailing image of the official commemorations is that of a (re)new(ed) conquest based on the diachronic and synchronic achievements of the Magyar nation[67] (so a reworking of the idea of power according to the new, canonic norms of knowledge, work and technological achievements), the rivalling image as put forward by the Romanian newspaper entitled Tribuna is that of the brute and pre-Christian force. Actually, the image and the attitude is the natural product of the process of othering: the Romanians excluded from the canonic narrative of the original conquest (and thus from a possible new conquest) take on the role attributed to them by the canonic Hungarian narrative, that of the defeated people seeing the conquerors in a wholly different way from the way those see themselves: "It seems as if the pagan hordes were coming... The same invasion as a thousand yars ago, but in other shape. They don't come on the backs of horses without saddle any more, but invade unscrupolously; they don't hit with their swords, but with the swords of the power of the state, with oredrs ministerial decrees and by taking legal actions. The shapes have changed, but the essence remained and it is overt at these millennial celebrations. It is the pagan character of them, a paganism that is intolerant and inimical towards anything that is Christian."[68] In this context when the excluded rival the ideas of those who have excluded them, all the qualities of the canonic thinking are critically reworked: for instance, the image of the official receptions is transformed into the image of the orgies englobing not only those viewed to belong to the other community, but also those who are seen to go over to the other side by some deed of them: "In Făgăraş the first act of the milennial orgy took place in a way worthy to the equestrian people and to the historical significance of the doubtful and tragic event: the invasion of the hordes of Árpád of the beautiful hills and the enthralling valleys of Dacia in 896 (?). All the characteristics of the Jewish-Hungarian nation have become clear: terrorism, gendarmes, trumpet-calls, binges, speculative transactions and the most clear evidence of Hungarian civilization of the thousand-year-long Hungarian culture: the smashing of the window-glasses.[69] Or: "Do you know the identity of Szerb, the executive officer of the Act on the millennium? - He is Gyuri Szerb, one of those 'Romanian' deputies who argue that they represent the 'people' in the Hungarian Parliament. Gyuri Szerb is that George Szerb, who - though an ethnic Romanian, member of all the synods and congresses of the Romanian Orthodox Church - voted for all the so-called 'church' Bills; he is that George Szerb who is still member of the board of the Gozsdu foundation. He presented the Bill on the millennium. He had the role of the 'civilian priest' of the deathly solemn ceremony that took place yesterday. [...] only his - the 'Romanian's' - lips were moving so as to utter the millennial prayer-law in the name of the Hungarian nation.

What an irony! [...] In the schools and churches the celebrations are ordered by the Romanian bishops, they themselves singing hymns for God and for the Hungarian race in Romanian language. What an irony!"[70] The process of othering functions here according to a less discussed logic of the symmetric oppositions[71]: the way a community defines itself in such a relationship leads not only to a certain type of the definition of the other, but also to a certain way he is perceived by the other community. So this latter angle is very much the product of the roles attached to the group in question by the perceiving community.   

The images of the ethnic communities that contest the official milennial conceptions can draw our attention to another aspect of the canon that they are repudiating: all the canonic texts and the rites of the millennial celebrations have a norm-making role. They domesticate models of behaviour, prescribe the accepted, the tolerated and the rejected attitudes towards the different narratives, events, deeds and communities, respectively suggest the consequences of the accepting or rejecting of the models. Let me exemplify the statement: "Young and old alike are in a fever of excitement because of the preparations for the millennium. The painter has taken out his brush, the writer his pencil, the blacksmith his hammer and the peasant his plough in order to create their most beautiful work in honour of the millennium. One hand was shaken by another so as to make this event be the most monumental of all of the events; to live to see it has become the wish of the wishes in all the Hungarian hearts"[72] At first sight the text seems generalizing, but harmless. But if we follow the way it construct entities, gives them identity, prescribes communities and the criteria that decide on belonging to them or being excluded from them, we can have an idea also about the exemplifying and evaluative functions of the canonic millennial discourse. As for the text, the basic criterion of the belonging to the Hungarian nation is that of the intense participation in the millennial celebration: the one who doesn't (want to) participate is positioned outside the community. The text thus establishes the borders of the Hungarian community and offers a possibility for those who wish to be a part of the nation at issue. The excerpt suggests also models of participation at the celebrations, exemplifying the way the 'real' community members should behave throughout the commemorial event: according to the passage the participation should be active and unconditional.

Since most of the images of the official celebrations are paradisical ones alluding to a possible rejuvenation of the Hungarian nation. And since every system is a relational one: every component produces also the way the other component will appear, the logic of contestation in a system that self-defines as a paradisiacal one will naturaly be that of the decadence. So the image of eternal rejuvenation will normally be presented in a rival version as the beginning of the end: "The engine of this powerful tendency - writes somebody in Tribuna - is neither a sincere enthusiasm, nor a real patriotism, not in the least! In moments of lucidity all the Hungarians and all their newspapers confess it.  We have already quoted many voices that share this opinion. 'The nation' is tired and enervated because of excesses and corruption, it has grown old. It is written all over his face and eyes how much it regrets it has buckled down to such a huge work."[73] While the thousand years denote nothing else than the viability and an eternal rejuvenation of the Hungarian nation in the ceremonial narratives, the same period of time is a decisive sign of old age and of the incapacity of the nation to carry out glorious deeds.[74] The formal and symbolical border of the thousandth year is obvious, but the values attached to it lead to completely different narratives on the past, present and future of the Hungarian nation.

6. 4. 'Our most beloved king' or 'our most beloved emperor'?

The gestures of representation of the canonic celebrations can be viewed also in their rivalry with other conceptions on the Hungarian nation, respectively on the ethnic communities and on the whole of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The examples are given by another album, the first photo of which belongs to Francis Joseph I., but he is labelled not emperor, but king: "A few decades of political liberty were sufficient to alter all this [i. e. the backwardness of the country]. Under the mild and and glorious rule of our beloved King Francis Joseph I., this country has been, so to say, newly born, and by its resources and natural elasticity it attained in an incredibly short spaceof time, in leaps, all that other nations had to fight for during centuries, and every half decade now marks other bold advance in its progress."[75] The labels are not neutral and insignificant since they denote different legal realities and different conceptual representations of community in the Hungarian post-1867 culture, and not only. Much of the controversy preceding the Ausgleich of 1867 that led to the Dual Monarchy rested on a Hungarian argument that the notion of the emperor has no meaning in the Hungarian historical tradition. In the end Francis Joseph I. was crowned king of the Hungarians a month before the Ausgleich.[76] Within this framework of cultural tradition the millennial Hungarian practice[77] to call Francis Joseph I. a king denotes the way in which the millennial celebrations expropriate the figure of the leader of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

The idea underlying the complex corpus of belles-letres, published by the daily Fővárosi Lapok, suggestively entitled A Thousand Years in Verses and written by twenty-seven poets, is a diachronic core and the history of the Magyars is presented as a history of those who had led this community in critical situations. The texts that might be especially interesting for my argument are those written on Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph I., being not only king / queen, but also emperor / empress. The text entitled The tears of the queen foregrounds the helping hand lent by the Hungarian Diet to Maria Theresa without mentioning the fact that the heroine of the text is the empress, too. Francis Joseph I., the protagonist of the last text in the telic narrative of the corpus at issue is not only the king of the Hungarians, but a divinely elected leader sharing the qualities of the chosen nation, too. These strategies of representation aim at producing a historical narrative in which the possibility of any communion with any other community is out of the question: according to the logic of this strategy the genealogy of the community should be 'pure' in order that the community could have pretensions for a characteristic and unique past, present and future of its own. 

The representations of this kind may be taken as counter-narratives of the concepts like those developed by the huge enterprise, entitled The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Texts and in Illustrations. The twenty-one enormous volumes, edited by Archduke Rudolf construct a empire that transcends the national differences. Rudolf's preface, published widely in 1885, sketched also the idea standing behind the work: "In spite of some good preparatory works, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy still lacks an enterprise that would present its people, being the result of both the latest scientific research and the latest artistic means of reproduction. A work is missing that would produce an inthralling and didactic image of our homeland [!] and of its people.

The study dedicated to the people of the Monarchy opens huge opportunities for the scholars, and raises the patriotic love in a manner that cannot be neglected. The more we study the virtues of the people and their mutual interdependence, the more will that feeling of solidarity and affinity strengthen that should unite the people of our country. 

The people that have been separated from the other communties by their language, traditions and divergent development, will have the pleasant surprise to notice the scholarly interest regarding their national character, and this will be the feeling that will push them to look for their spiritual centre in the Monarchy."[78]

This vision on the Monarchy, and implicitly on Hungary, too, is completely different from the one that comes to the foreground throughout the millennial celebrations. It is a vision that enfolds the Hungarian community (and also the Romanians from Hungary)  in a structure that is not on the same level with the people that constitute it. The characteristics of the structure transcend the particular qualities (like language, traditions, a unique and specific history) that constitute the different nations of the Monarchy, underlining constituents as a common sense based on a mutual, diachronic and synchronic interdependence both in "a spiritual and a material sense".[79] The millennial celebrations outline that the idea of a macroregion, a Mitteleuropa is widely contested by a state-nation logic of the millennial Hungarian national community that celebrates its thousand-year existence.[80] 

            To conclude: the millennium as an event is not only a celebration of the Hungarian community, but it is a complex system of rival values on the self-perception and identification of several communities, the framework that gives rise to analogous and conflicting representations on the role and fate of different communities (be it national, social or ethnic ones), about their position regarding different types of communities. The millennium thus becomes the phenomenon through which, in contrast with which and along which individuals and communities of interpretation with different values can define their significances and roles.

7. In lieu of conclusion

"But we cannot avoid remaking our heritage, for every act of recognition alters what survives. We can use the past fruitfully when we realize that to inherit is also to transform."[81]



* The paper is to be published in the forthcoming Yearbook of the New Europe College. Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest (led by redctor dr. dr. h. c. Andrei Plesu). It was written in 2000 due to a fellowship at the very same institute. Its copyright belongs to both the New Europe College and its writer.

[1] Emblematic are in this sense: VEYNE, Paul, Comment on écrit l'historire, Éditions du Seuil, 1971.; WHITE, Hayden, Metahistory. The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, The Johns Hopkins U. P., Baltimore, 1973.; idem, Tropics of Discourse. Essays in Cultural Criticism, The Johns Hopkins U. P., 1978.; idem, The Content of the Form. Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, The Johns Hopkins U. P., Baltimore, 1987.; HOBSBAWM, Eric - RANGER, Terence, ed., The Invention of Tradition, New York, 1983.; LA CAPRA, Dominick, Rethinking Intellectual History. Texts, Contexts, Language, Cornell U. P. 1985 (1983); SMITH, Anthony D., The Ethnic Origins of Nations, Oxford, 1986; Anderson, Benedict: Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, 1989.

[2] The view is indebted to Gadamer's hermeneutic conception on the possibility of interpreting the past, but is sceptical regarding the possibility of a perfect dialogue between the past and the present: GADAMER, Hans-Georg, Wahrheit und Methode, J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), Tübigen, 1975, 4th ed.

[3] The policy announcement of the Academy published in the first volume of its yearbooks states - among other things - that the Society should polish and protect the language since by means of national language "the nation is not just a group of people, but a respected national body that rules over others, like Greece did over Rome". A Magyar Tudós Társaság Évkönyvei, I.(1831-1832.), Trattner-Károlyi, Pest, 1833, 3.  

[4] See the materials published in PACH, Zsigmond Pál, chief ed., A magyar Tudományos Akadémia másfél évszázada, Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1975.

[5] A Magyar Tudós Társaság Évkönyvei

[6] For previous, post-Enlifgtenment views on Hungarian language see CSETRI, Lajos, Egység vagy különbözőség? Nyelv- és irodalomszemlélet a magyar irodalmi nyelvújítás korszakában, Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1990, 11-103.

[7] Excellent general works on the issue: SZŰCS, Jenő, A magyar nemzeti tudat kialakulása, Balassi Publishing House - JATE - Osiris Publishing House, Budapest, 1997.; focusing especially on the literary aspects: TARNAI, Andor, Extra Hungariam non est vita...(Egy szállóige történetéhez), Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1969.

[8] ERDÉLYI, János, "Népköltészet és kelmeiség" in Nyelvészeti és  népköltészeti, népzenei írások, Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1991, 194.

[9] On a closer inspection many links can be established between the representations of an aristocratic tradition perceived for several centuries as truly and exclusively representing the nation and nineteenth-century Hungarian literature trying to define itself as the par excellence medium to represent the same Hungarian nation. I would only mention here the exclusive character of belonging to the representational groups in question, the symbolism of duelling in the literary criticism of the 1850's alluding to the canonic form of protection in all matters of honour in the aristocratic circles of the period, respectively the fact that the vast majority of writers to establish a most canonic institution, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences were also noblemen.  

[10] GAAL, György, Magyar népmesegyűjtemény, ed. Gábor Kazinczy and Ferenc Toldy, Pest, 1857-1859, III., IV-VII.

[11] GYULAI, Pál, "Adalék népköltészetünkhöz" in Kritikai dolgozatok 1854-1861, edition of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 1908, 308.

[12] Ibidem, 318-319.

[13] For a critical insight over the overvaluing of textuality and the historical consequences of this phenomenon see the writings of the famous collection of papers: CLIFFORD, James - MARCUS, E. George, Writing Culture. ThePoetics and Politics of Ethnography, University of California Press, 1986.

[14] GYULAI, Pál, "Adalék népmeséinkhez" in Kritikai dolgozatainak újabb gyűjteménye 1850-1904, edition of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 1927, 50.

[15] Ibidem, 51.

[16] The correspondence between Kriza János and Gyulai Pál is a fragmented one, as well the whole correspondence itself of Kriza. With regards to the former: mainly Kriza's letters have been preserved in the archives of the Országos Széchenyi Könyvtár, Budapest. For their incomplete publication see: KRIZA, János, ed., Vadrózsák. Székely  Népköltészeti Gyűjtemény, Athenaeum Publishing House, Budapest, 1911, 378-416.

[17] The son of Arany János. The edition referred to: ARANY, László, Eredeti népmesék, Pest, 1862.

[18] Kriza János to Gyulai Pál: Kolozsvár, August 12, 1862, National Széchényi Library, Correspondence Archives

[19] Kriza János to Gyulai Pál: Kolozsvár, 29. October 1862, National Széchényi Library, Correspondence Archives

[20] Kriza János to Gyulai Pál: Kolozsvár, November 19, 1862., National Széchényi Library, Correspondence Archives

[21] Gusztáv Wenzel, "Magyar történelem vagyis történetkutatás, történettudás és történetírás Magyarországon" (Hungarian History Namely Historic Research, Historic Knowledge and Historiography in Hungary), Kelet Népe 1856: 1., p. 139.

[22] Pál Gyulai, "Thaly Kálmán Bottyán Jánosról" (Kálmán Thaly on János Bottyán), Budapesti Szemle 1867: 8., p.369.

[23] For an other types of interpretation on the issue of beautiful history see: RICOEUR, Paul, "Expliquer et comprendre. Sur quelques connxions remarquables entre théorie du texte, la théorie de l'action et la théorie de l'histoire" in Du texte á l'action. Essais d'hermeneutique, II. Coll. Esprit, Éd. du Seuil, Paris, 1986, 161-183.; RÜSEN, Jörn, Lebendige Geschichte: Grunzüge einer Historik III. Formen und Funktionen des historischen Wissens, Göttingen, 1989.

[24] My usage of the term follows that of Fish: FISH, Stanley E., Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1980. For a Hungarian critical debate on the issue of interpretive communities see: KÁLMÁN, György C., ed., Az értelmező közösségek elmélete, Balassi Publishing House, Budapest, 2001.

[25] Different but none the less interesting and challenging intepretations on the issue of forgery, influencing my argument, are: Corino, Karl, hrsg., Gefälscht! Betrug in Literatur, Kunst, Musik, Wissenschaft und Politik, Greno, Nördlingen, 1988.; STAFFORD, Fiona J., The Sublime Savage. A Study of James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian, Edinburh University Press, 1988.; GRAFTON, Anthony, Forgers and Critics. Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship, Princeton University Press, 1990.; JONES, Mark, ed., Why Fakes Matter. Essay on Problems of Authenticity, British Museum Press, London, 1992.; RADNÓTI, Sándor, Hamisítás, Magvető Publishing House, Budapest, 1995.  

[26] The essence of the partly ethnical debate is that a family answering to the name of Sándor sent it to the Transylvanian Society for the Cultivation of the Hungarian Language. It contained an allegedly authentic copy of  text from 1533, authenticated in 1695 and appearing suddenly in 1796.

[27] See for instance GAÁL, György - SZEMETHY Imre - BANGA Ferenc, A' tudós palótz, avagy Furkáts Tamásnak Mónosbélbe lakó sógor-urához irtt levelei, I-II., Budapest, 1999. [originally published in 1803-1804.]. For an overall survey on the image of the regional culture at issue in this period see: KERÉNYI, Ferenc, "Lisznyai Kálmán és a palóc-kelmeiség" in Nógrád megyei múzeumok évkönyve, 1976, 281-297.; KÓSA, László, "A palócok néprajzi kutatása a kezdetektől az 1960-as évekig" in Palócok. I. Kutatástörténet, föld és nép, ed. BAKÓ, Ferenc, Eger, 1989, 9-28.; SZILÁGYI, Márton, "Lisznyai Kálmán és a palócok regionális műveltségének romantikus képe", in HOFER, Tamás, ed., Népi kultúra és nemzettudat, Budapest, 1991, 61-69.   

[28] For an interesting sample of this type of argument see: HORVÁT, István, Rajzolatok a magyar nemzet legrégiebb történeteiből, Pest, 1825, 45-46.

[29] For Herder's influence on the anthropological thinking of the first half of the XIXth century: S. VARGA, Pál, "... az ember véges állat..." (A kultúrantropológia irányváltása a felvilágosodás után - Herder és Kölcsey), Kölcsey Society, Fehérgyarmat, 1998. Other, partial accounts on the same topic: SZEGEDY-MASZÁK, Mihály, "Fejlődési szakaszok Kölcsey világszemléletében és költészetfelfogásában" in Világkép és stílus, Gondolat Publishing House, Budapest, 1980. ; FENYŐ, István, Az irodalom respublikájáért. Irodalomkritikai gondolkodásunk fejlődése 1817-1830, Budapest, 1876, 77., 163-165., 231. For a general overview on the heritage of Herderian anthropology see: GRAWE, Christian, Herders Kulturanthropologie, Bonn, 1967.

[30] ERDÉLYI, János, "Népköltészetről" in Nyelvészeti és népköltészeti, népzenei írások, ed. T. ERDÉLYI, Ilona, Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1991, 101.

[31] The philological arguments regarding its forged character are largely dealt with in: TOMPA, József, A művészi archaizálás és a régi magyar nyelv, Akadémiai Publishing House, Budapest, 1972, 289.

[32] One of the paradoxes of his figure and attitude is that nevertheless he acted obviously like an orthodox Hungarian in questions of forced Magyarization of the allogens, his level of knowledge of the Hungarian language is much under the general literati knowledge of Hungarian of the 1830s-1840s - as it appears from his travel diary: "Azt kérdé töllem egy fő ember nagy reményü fia, 's következendőképp Hazánkk is készülendő Oszlopa mosolyogva. Ha van é tudtomra, hogy Pirkér Pátriárcha esmét német Odákkal szaporitotta az Universom könyvtömegét. Nints mondám, 's mintha nem is hinném, vagy tánn nem hallotta a' Pátriárcha, midön Bajza menydörgő hangal igy szollott. Nem lehet jo Hazafi kit a haza minden javaival halmozván 's még is idegen nyelvenm ir. Én jámbor utazo philosoph esmerve szinte mindaz n[agy]s[ágo]d magyar gondolkodása formáját, tudám, hogy ezen hirt tudni vagy nem tudni kevesen méltányolyák, hanem én is mint Hazafi ohajtom, hogy légyen ez legesleg utolso ilyesmi irása a' jo Patriárchának Skofiummal vart ezüst sujtásos életébe." National Széchényi Library, Manuscript Archives Fol. Hung. 3006., II., 31-33. folio. The solecisms and misspellings of the diary can hardly be translated, therefore the purpose of the following translation is to give an idea about Literáti's orthodox ideas regarding Hungarian language and its spreading: "A leader's son - therefore a future pillar of our homeland - asked me smiling whether I have already learned that patriarch Pyrker increased the amount of books of the universe with German odes again. No - replied I - and I don't even believe it, or hasn't he heard Bajza's stentorian voice uttering that no one can be a good patriot who - in spite of being heaped with all the kindness by his /her homeland - writes in a foreign language. I for one, the simple traveller, knowing Your Highness' views on Hungarian matters, I realized that few will appreciate knowing or not knowing the news. But as a patriot I, too, wish for this writing to be the very last one of the good patriarch in his life."

[33] The travel diary was written for his assignor, so it is might be considered at least as relevant for the values of his assignor as for the attitudes of Literáti himself.

[34] National Széchényi Library, Manuscript Archives Fol. Hung. 3006/II., 79. folio, recto and verso.

[35] For the definiton of vindication in the context of Hungarian literary system and an excellent example of it, see: DÁVIDHÁZI, Péter, "Az Úrnak útait az emberek előtt igazgatni". A Bessenyei fivérek és a vindicatio szerephagyománya, in Per passivam resistentiam. Változatok hatalom és írás témájára, Argumentum Publishing House, Budapest, 85-101.

[36] BOURDIEU, Pierre, "Espace social et pouvoir symbolique" in Choses dites, les Éditions de Minuit, 1987, 147-167.

[37] HERMANN, Ottó, "Gróf Zichy Jenő utazása Kaukázusban", in Budapesti Szemle 253, 1898, 252., 127., 129., 132., 137. For similar opininons on the issue see for instance: MIKSZÁTH, Kálmán, "Hermann Ottó és Zichy Jenő" in Országos Hirlap, January 5., 1898, 7.

[38] For a reevaluation of these aspects see: SOÓS, István, Horvát István és a történeti segédtudományok, candidate's thesis, Budapest, 1994 in The Manuscript Archives of The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, D 17.533

[39] The letter addressed to Fábián Gábor by Toldy Ferenc on September 15, 1873 was published by Kara Győző: "Fábián Gábor levelezése", in Irodalomtörténeti Közlemények, 1893, 238.  

[40] Urkunderbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenburgen, von Frank ZIMMERMANN und Karl WERMER, Ier Band: 1191 bis 1342, Hermannstadt, 1892.

[41] TAGÁNYI, Károly, "Történeti irodalom", in Századok 1893, 52.

[42] For the definition of the concept I follow see: HALBWACHS, Maurice, On Collective Memory, Chicago U. P., 1992.; CONNERTON, Paul, How societies remember, Cambridge University Press, 1989.; OLICK, Jeffrey K. - ROBBINS, Joyce, "A társadalmi emlékezet tanulmányozása: a 'kollektív emlékezettől' a mnemonikus gyakorlat történeti szociológiai vizsgálatáig, Replika, September 1999, 19-44.

[43] TAGÁNYI, Károly, "Történeti irodalom", in Századok 1893, 56.

[44] KARÁCSONYI, János, A hamis, hibáskeltű és keltezetlen oklevelek jegyzéke 1400-ig. [A Történelmi Tár 1908. évi számában megjelent pótlásokkal kiegészítve ...], ed. and preface by KOSZTA, László, Szeged, 1988, XVI. (originally published in 1902.)

[45] Ibidem, XI-XII.

[46] See the polemics of the 1850s on the functions and forms of criticisms: for instance GYULAI Pál, "Vita és felhívás (Egressy Gábornak)", Pesti Napló, February 7., 1856.; SÜKEI Károly, "Kritika és művészet I - II", Szépirodalmi Lapok, 15-16., 1853.

[47] See for instance his minute historical research for a scientifically correct narrative and his use of footnotes in Buda halála

[48] JÓSIKA, Miklós, "Idegen, de szabad hazában", Szépirodalmi Publishing House, Budapest, 1988, 435.

[49] The notion is invetigated thoroughly in HUTCHEON, Linda, A Poetics of Postmodernism. History, Theory, Fiction, Routledge, London, 19922. According to her definition the heroes of historical metafictions "are anything but proper types: they are the marginalized, the peripheral figures of fictional history; even the historical personages take on different, particularised, and ultimately excentric status." Ibidem 113.

[50] For theoretical and practical perspectives on the issue see: BARTHES, Roland, Image, Music, Text, ed. HEATH, Stephen, New York, 1977.; BERMINGHAM, Ann, Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740-1860, London, 1986.; GASKELL, Ivan, "Visual History" in BURKE, Peter, ed., New Perspectives on Historical Writing, Cambridge, 2000, 2nd ed., 187-217.HASKELL, Francis, History and its Images, New Haven, 1993.

[51] "Hiteles tudósításokból merített tudósítás Kőrösi Csoma Sándor iránt", in Tudományos Gyűjtemény, 1825.

[52] HORVÁT, István, Magyar irodalom. Horvát István pesti egyetemi előadásai után, 1832.

[53] Schlozer, Abkunft von Magyaren, Presburg, 1827.

[54] KOVÁCS, Sámuel, "A magyarokról és a törökökről", Tudományos Gyűjtemény, VI., 1822,. HORVÁT Endre, "A magyar nemzet nem finnugor eredetű", Tudományos Gyűjtemény II, 1823.; RUMY, Károly, "Madzsar, azaz a magyarok bölcsője", Tudományos Gyűjtemény, IX., 1825.; DERECSEKEI FODOR, Gábor, "A magyarok ősi eredete", Tudományos Gyűjtemény, IX., 1825.; SZABÓ György, "megjegyzések a magyarok eredetéről", Tudományos Gyűjtemény, IV., X., 1825.; Y [FEJÉR, György], "Az ősi magyar telepekről", Tudományos Gyűjtemény, IX., 1825.

[55] For an overview of similar relationships in another case: WHITE, Richard, Inventing Australia. Images and Identity 1688-1980, George Allen-Unwin, Sydney-London-Boston, 1981.

[56] In this sense are the literati imagined as the founders of a certain period of national and / or literary history. Also many other links can be traced between the models of representation and self-definition of the Hungarian aristocracy and the way nineteenth-century Hungarian literati define themselves, the discipline they work within, the cultural subsystem they belong to and the relationship of this subsystem to the culture as a system. The literati trying to define themselves as a community that represents the whole nation reach for values like those of the triumphant and combative character of the epic poem derived from an aristocratic tradition of self-representation. For instance, the commemorations dedicated to the figure of Ferenc Kazinczy insist on the metaphor of his reconquering the languagelot by Attila, the chieftain in ancient times. Nay, in this case the image of the triumphant literati is combined with the characteristics of the chosen representative of the nation, a recurrent idea in historically earlier models of the nation (embodied in its historical form of the chosen biblical Hungarian nation chiefly by the already treated István Horvát): "Kazinczy was a divine gift of God, otherwise he couldn't have sacrificed himself at the proper time and in the right place. Kazinczy's genius realized the importance of the language at the proper time and he was given the necessary courage to found a wholly new way, to conquer all the impediments, and to take heart to endure all the sufferings. That's why the nation can pray: 'Lord, You haven't let us alone.' " (DESSEWFY, Emil, "Zárszó" in Akadémiai emlékkönyv a Kazinczy Ferenc születése évszázados ünnepéről, Pest, 1859.) So, the image of Moses associated with Kazinczy throughout the commemorations can be viewed also a refunctionalized image of this older model to perceive the history and present of the Hungarian nation along the chosen nation of the Holy Bible. In this sense, though refuted in the 1820s-1830s the conceptions represented by Horvát as disciplinary historical views indirectly recur in the 1850s-1860s as images of commemorative representation of the past.  

[57] The argumentation of the chapter regarding commemorative remembering relies implicitly on: LOWENTHAL, David, The Past is a Foreign Country, Cambridge U. P., 1985.; ASSMANN, Jan und Aleida, hrsg., Kanon und Zensur. Archäologie der literarischen Kommunikation II., Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München, 1987.; ASSMANN, Aleida, hrsg., Zeit und Tradition. Kulturelle Stratefien der Dauer, Böhlau Verlag, Köln-Weimar-Wien, 1999.; HUTTON, Patrick H., History as Art of Memory, University of Vermont, Hannover-London, 1993.

[58] For a general factual overview on the commemorations of the late literati throughout the nineteenth century see PRAZNOVSZKY, Mihály, "A szellemdiadal ünnepei". A magyar irodalom kultikus szokásrendje a XIX. század közepén, Mikszáth Publishing House, Budapest, 1998. For an excellent conceptual interpretation, the starting-point of the Hungarian literary cult interpretations see DÁVIDHÁZI, Péter, "Isten másodszülöttje". A Shakespeare-kultusz természetrajza, Gondolat Publishing House, Budapest, 1989.  

[59] The millennium of Hungary and the national exhibition. A collection of photographic views of the most interesting parts of the country, of town and art-treasures of Hungary, as also of the most noteworthy objects in the exhibition, published by LAURENCIC, Julius, Budapest, 1896.

[60] Fővárosi Lapok, April 5., 1896, 23.

[61] According to one of its explanatory subtitles the album was "published under the Patronage of the R. H. Ministry of Commerce, by order and with the cooperation of the Board of directors of the R. H. State-railways [!] and the Millennary Exhibition"

[62] When quoting from the album, I always use the Ebglish version, signalling the segments that differ.

[63] Az ezeréves Magyarország és a milléniumi kiállítás. Magyarország legszebb tájainak, városainak és műkincseinek valamint a kiállítás nevezetességeinek fényképgyűjteménye, ed. PIVÁNYI Ernő et al., 1896.

[64] Because of the different employment of the term culture throughout this paper, I am using the term learning to indicate the meaning of the term used by the album.

[65] For a theoretical note on the phenomenon see LEERSSEN, Joep, "The Allochronic Periphery. Towards a Grammar of Cross-Cultural Representation", in BARFOOT, C. C., ed.,  Beyond Pug's Tour. National and Ethnic Stereotyping in Theory and Literary Practice, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 1997, 285.

[66] The professionalizing process of the Hungarian society commences chiefly at the beginning of the 1840s, a first sign of this process in the subsystem of belles letres of the cultural system being the appearance of the the professional writer who lives solely on the economic equivalent of his texts. While in the 1840s the attitude towards Sándor Petőfi, the first Hungarian literati to live on the economic equivalent of his texts, led to a bitter controversy, the 1850s already bring an éclat of the concept. The debates show not only that the notion of the wages as the equivalent of the work done, the notions of the place of work and of the working hours as values and norms have a changing and ambiguous status. In the 1880s-18890s we are already at the end of this process of professionalization in which the bourgeois attitude towards work that redefined the value of the work became a canonic attitude. These changes produce also the notion of the specialist (as opposed to the dilettant - a concept with no negative aspect till the 1830s), the one that extends his knowledge in a realm needing particular training, having special skills in a restricted area, understanding the complexity of the state of affairs by means of his / her refined deep and refined preparations. (For some brief remarks on the appearance of the economic equivalent of text-production as the basis for living see MARGÓCSY, István, Petőfi Sándor. Kísérlet, Korona Publishing House, Budapest, 1999, 51-52.; a theoretic survey is given on the process of professionalization in literature and the arts in general in BOURDIEAU, Pierre, The Rules of Art. Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field, trans. EMANUEL, Susan, Polity Press, 1996. )

[67] For instance: "The first millennium of the conquest of the homeland has come to an end. And it ended in a very honourable way. The Hungarian nation has found itself. Its heart is in a perfect harmony with itsreason. Though it has preserved its fighting spirit, it can be considered as the guardian of peace. It doesn't fight with the other nations, but competes with them: it surrounds oneself with friends, not with enemies. But the new millennium would like to be the epoch of the new conquest of the homeland.  The territory conquered a thousand years ago and preserved at the expense of so much shedding of blood, the new Hungary is waiting for a new conquest with means of the spirit, the reason and the work." JÓKAI Mór, Utószó in A magyar nemzet története, ed. SZILÁGYI, Sándor, vol. X., Budapest, 1898, 837.

[68] "Mileniul - păgân", Tribuna,  April 10/22., 1896, 2.

[69] "Tămbălăul millenar [!] la Făgăraş", Tribuna, May 2/14. , 1896, 386.

[70] "Ironia momentului", Tribuna, April 11/23, 1896.

[71] KOSELECK, Reinhart, "Zur historisch-politischen Semantik asymmetrisher Gegenbegriffe" in Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Suhrkampf Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1979.

[72] SZMOLLÉNY, Nándor - LIPTAI, Károly, Magyarország ezredik éve, Szeged, 1896, 35.

[73] Tribuna, April 11/23, 1896, 1.

[74] For the general treatise and the philosophical background of these motifs at the turn of the century in British culture see: DOWLING, Linda, Language and Decadence in the Victorian Fin de Siécle, Princten U. P., 1986.

[75] LAURENCIC, Julius, A Thousand Years! = Szmollény Nándor - Liptai Károly, Magyarország ezredik éve (Mileniul maghiar), Szeged, 1896, 3.

[76] On June 8, 1867 Franz Joseph I. signed the Act that decreed the Ausgleich on July 28, 1867.

[77] The exceptions are rare in comparison with the cases that confirm to the rule.

[78] RUDOLF, the crown prince, Az osztrák-magyar monarchia írásban és képben. Bevezetés, Vasárnapi Újság 1885, no. 48., 774.

[79] Ibidem

[80] It is woth noting that in their official protest the ethnic communities contesting the celebrations repeat almost identically Rudolf's ideas on a microregion and the role of the different people that live in it: see The Protest of the Romanians, the Serbs and of the Slovaks against the millennial celebrations

[81] LOWENTHAL, David, The Past is a Foreig Country, Cambridge U. P., 1985, 412.