Everybody was excited about Eastern Europe after the Wall came down and during the transitions of the early 90s. Prague became the new spot for young American literary types and artists looking to recreate the ex-pat feel of the first half of the 20th century in Western Europe. And then, quickly and almost imperceptibly, the attention shifted, the fascination dried up.

Budapest is once again in its own corner of the world, not entirely sure to what history it belongs or to what future it will re-attach itself. This is the second stage in the story of the great transformations that brought the 20th century to a close and that ended the tragic and then tragic-comic story of communism in Europe. The first chapter was euphoria mixed with a slight tinge of trepidation — the Soviet empire was no more. The second chapter is more like a hangover, a vague… More…