Móricz’s First Novel Translated To English

One of the most honored Hungarian writer of the early 20th century,  Zsigmond Móricz (1879-1942) would be proud to hear that his first novel has got an English translation in the USA. The major Hungarian novel, titled “Sárarany” was written more than a century ago and can be read in English for the first time, thanks to Ginny Lewis professor of German at Northern State University (NSU). The translated title, which was released in late July, is “Gold in the Mud: A Hungarian Peasant Novel.” A copy of the book will be available in the NSU Beulah Williams Library. It is also for sale on

“It’s a crime the book hasn’t been translated into English until now,” Ginny Lweis said in a news release. Her path to solving that crime wasn’t an easy one. When she started, she did not know Hungarian — a language that is classified as one of the most difficult to learn. Although 10 years of study enabled her to decipher the original text, a critical help in completing the goal of translating it efficiently was finding a German translation of the book available as public domain on Google Books.

“Gold in the Mud” tells the story of Dani Turi, a peasant who longs to rise above his low social status and make money off of the land he farms, but he is hindered by wealthy landowners.“The novel’s central theme is the deplorable waste of human potential resulting from the repression of the peasantry in what was still a largely feudal society,” Lewis wrote in the book’s introduction. “Moricz relies on the techniques of naturalism to get his message across, creating memorable scenes that will appeal to modern readers in their vivid imagery and brutal directness.”

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