This project is based on an endowment left by the late Laszlo Tetmajer of Butte, Montana to CEUS in 2011 and involves the translation of outstanding Hungarian books on history into English. Mr. Tetmajer came to the United States after the Second World War and decided to leave his whole fortune to Indiana University. The bequest opened up a unique opportunity: to introduce some of the best scholarship in Hungary to a broad international audience. This fit very well into the department’s Hungarian studies program, the mission of which has been disseminate in-depth knowledge of Hungarian history and culture in the United States.
Given the bequest, the prerequisite of success was to find the best books and the right translators for a language which is very hard to render into English. So far we have commissioned the translation of more than a dozen books. We have six books in print published by Indiana University Press, Central European University Press, and the Harvard Cold War Series. Several books are due to be published this year with Indiana University Press and Routledge; other manuscripts translated within the framework of the project are under peer review process.
The books are chosen through a rigorous selection process carried out by the Tetmajer Committee. The Committee is chaired by László Borhi; György Kara, Toivo Raun, and Valéria Varga are members. The translation is assigned to native speakers, some of whom are graduates of the IU Hungarian studies program such as Sean Lambert and Thomas Cooper or of IU’s REEI who focused on Hungarian Studies, e.g., Jason Vincz. This is followed by an editing process, meaning to say that the translation is closely compared to the original. Our editors have included IU faculty: Péter Nemes, Valéria Varga, and László Borhi. From this year on, most of our books will be offered for publication to the newly established Hungarian Series of Indiana University Press.
Besides enriching English-language literature on Hungary and East Central Europe, the project offers a unique opportunity for Hungarian scholars to present their work to an international audience.