Books

Home Game

 

Of Home Game, Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette says, ”Endre Farkas writes with the same meticulous aplomb whether he’s chronicling the inner workings of a soccer ‘friendly’ in Hungary at the height of the Cold War, the brutal oppression of the post-1956 police state in the country where he was born, or the burgeoning sexual and artistic freedoms in Montreal in the late 1960s. In Home Game, the sequel to his highly praised novel Never, Again, he deftly builds the suspense to almost unbearable levels, proving that the best literary fiction can also be a real page-turner.”

Murders in the Welcome Café

 

Farkas has written a short book—really one long poem—that tantalizes with the power of LeCarré. In some ways the book is a whodunit, structured in chapters that suggests alternate possibilities for the alleged murders, which may be nothing more than imagination or food poisoning or heart attack—or almost anything. Clues left in the middle of philosophical poems rest on the scene of the crime, replete with greasy plates, and unidentified hands. The book is a gem.

 

American Library Association

Never, Again

 

This story is set in post-war Communist Hungary, in the fictional town of Hajdubékes, Never, Again is the story of seven-year-old Tomi Wolfstein, the son of Holocaust survivors who have never told him any-thing about their past experiences in the concentration camps of World War II. When the story opens, in the fall of 1956, the boy is about to start school.

 

Never, Again is Tomi’s journey physically, emotionally and symbolically from innocence to experience, to understanding and freedom. The story chronicles his experiences in the months leading up to the 1956 Hungarian uprising and the theft of his innocence during that time.

Never, Again is a remarkable fiction debut.

Montreal Gazette

The figure of a child protagonist not yet fettered by the burdens of history lends the novel its greatest strength: a subtle balance between everyday ubiquity and unimaginable horror.

Montreal Review of Books

Language Matters , Editor, with Carolyn Marie Souaid,

Signature Editions, 20 13 

 

The Quebec poets featured in Language Matters are almost uniformly smart and thoughtful in answering a series of set questions. These include factual inquiries such as "Where were you born?" and "When do you write best?" But, as the title suggests, the interviewers are primarily interested in how living in Quebec and writing in English has influenced each poet's work.

There is no clear consensus. Some poets are essentially apolitical, while others believe that everything an Anglophone does in Quebec is a political act. Mark Abley wisely notes that English is not under threat in Quebec in the way that many languages across the world are, while co-editor Carolyn Marie Souaid, who is fluently bilingual, admits she deliberately speaks English in stores to assert the right of the minority language to be used.

 

Bruce Whiteman Quill & Quire

Blood is Blood, Signature Editions, 2010

With Carolyn Marie Souaid

 

Winner of The Berlin International Poetry Film Festival 2012

 

“The format of the presentation is precisely right. The video production, hearing the speakers and seeing them in context with each other, makes the poem live…An enclosed DVD presents the authors, Endre Farkas (Jew) and Carolyn Marie Souaid (Arab), reciting their work. The performances are strong, and the text gains from this presentation, the contrasting voices overlapping like a Glenn Gould vocal fugue as they speak sometimes to each other and sometimes to themselves. The black-and-white cinematography is understated, but effective…This is a poem, a performance, and as such it succeeds. The voices are worth hearing. And their dialogue is worth unpacking. ”

 

                                             The Rover

 

Click here to see trailer

Quotidian Fever New and Selected poems 1974-2007, The Muses' Company. 2007

 

"Farkas writes about everything from fact-based reality to the purely imaginative, to romance, to comings and goings, to death, to renovations, to roots old and new. He is acutely aware of rhythm and the infinite possibilities for shape, line breaks not only there to conduct traffic but as chisels to help sculpt the piece. He writes with empathy and insight, often with humour. Serious abut his craft, he doesn't always take himself seriously."

                                               Carolyn Marie Souaid  from Editor's Note

 

"I enjoy writing poems. There is a joy in making, even if the poem makes me uneasy. Rubbing words together and having them ignite and be comforting and dangerous at the same time. I prefer it to the times when I am not writing, when I am living in the dark. But those are necessary times, too. This I know"." 

                                                  from Author's Note

Proemcards from Chile, Rubicon Press, 2007

 

These poems are the result of a visit/invitation from Chile to participate in the Centenarary celebration of Pablo Neruda's birth. These hybrid poem / prose postcards are observations, reflections, meditations from Neruda's home by a poet from Canada

 

"...which honours boys

who, on thin ice, shod with glittering steel,

skate like the god of the winged heel

and fire frozen rubber discs at each other."

OUT OF PRINT

In The Worshipful Company of Skinners, The Muses' Company, 2003.

 

Drawing on his research into the journals of early Canadian fur traders, poet Endre Farkas has crafted an imaginative account of one man’s transformation in the strange land that becomes his home. Beginning with the narrator’s harrowing sea voyage from the Orkney Islands to Newfoundland, and ending with his uneasy retirement in Montreal, this fictionalized journal describes the “crackling swirls” of the Northern Lights and the “silver threads” of rushing rivers, lists the business transactions of the all mighty Company, and recounts everyday life in the fur trade, from celebratory nights of feasting and fire water, to catastrophic periods of famine, disease, and slaughter. This is a story of the unexpected change that comes over a man as he witnesses the beauty and hardship, compassion and cruelty, ambition and exploitation that forged a nation.

OUT OF PRINT

Surviving Wor(l)ds, Scirocco Drama, 1999

 

"The horrifying actuality that is the Holocaust sits like an immovable altar to evil in the middle of the twentieth century. Fifty years later, Endre Farkas, child of Holocaust survivors, revisits its terrors through the stories of his parents and through his own journeys. His parents, who both survived concentration camps only to confront renewed xenophobia a dozen years later during the Hungarian revolution, were forced to escape with their young son to Canada. The book is a personal journey of sorts?a journey to recover, if not innocence, perhaps lost hope."?

 

                                                           Canadian Literature

OUT OF PRINT

Surviving Words, The Muses' Company, 1994

 

“This is a strong, compelling book…Farkas has always proven himself more than capable of the crafty lyric and the silent turn, reasons alone for making this book worth reading, moving through elegies for his parents’ memories and the late poet bp Nichol, trying to find understanding, trying to find salvation.”
—Ottawa Xpress

 

Surviving Words is Endre Farkas’ seventh book of poetry and his most powerful and accomplished to date. It is a collection of singular yet interwoven poems that, with haunting simplicity, evokes the horrors we inflict upon each other.This book begins with his parents’ experiences in Auschwitz and Mauthausen, moves on to deal with his childhood memories of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and concludes with poems about the ongoing acts of genocide.The poems in Surviving Words are striking for their imagery and tone. With subtle irony, they remind us that “nothing is forgotten/nothing is ever forgotten.”

 

 

OUT OF PRINT

Howl Too, Eh?, NUAGE Editions, 1991

 

A howl of a book. Farkas , Norris, Gold & Konyves say what must be said about their generation, Canada, Quebec and the U.S.A. You will never stand on guard for thee the same way again!

 

Howl Too, Eh?

 

I see the best dressed minds of my gggeneration,

             trendy, coked to the nose, hooked on Trivial pursuit

driving their free spirited BMWs through ghetto

             streets looking for the ideal cockroached flats to fix and flip

Young Upwardly Mobile Urban Professionals

             yearning for the neo-nouvelleconnection to the 

             bottom lines of 2nd Début encounters with the

             Third Wave of café-au-laitcoloured mid-life Passages

        

 

How To, The Muses' Company, 1988

 

Short listed for the A.M. Klein prize for poetry 1988.

 

Poems of renovations, transformations of house, home, life. 

 

                             Ultra Sound Poem

 

                              Giggles

                              by the bellyful

 

                              upon seeing its big head

                              bob and tuck

 

                              upon seeing its fine-wire ribs

                              do delicate push-ups

 

                              upon seeing its thumbnail heart

                              beat like its life depended on it

 

                              upon seeing its undulating limbs

                              wave everytime you giggle a bellyful

 

OUT OF PRINT

From Here to Here, The Muses' Company, 1982

 

Poems of being on the move.

 

...and

 

...and I begin here, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a 

thought and already the pen is running out of ink. Fading words...

How zen I think. And thinking on how zen I've become since

coming back from out there, I write on till it runs out...

 

OUT OF PRINT

OUT OF PRINT

Face Off, The Muses' Company, 1980

 

Hockey poem cards, each titled by the score. The Habs  only lost ten games that year. 

 

Limited Edition. 100 copies. Fifty signed.

 

                               Habs 7 Blues 2

 

                               soft teeth

                               chew on flesh

 

                               moist lips

                               spit rainbow bruises

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUT OF PRINT

Romantic at Heart & Other Faults, CrossCountry Press, 1979

 

Poems of a period. A knight in chain-mail armour sets off on a Quixotic quest, 

 

 

                                    Naked in innocence

                                    you gaze skywards   so that

                                    your throat 

                                                        warm and vulnerable

                                    offers itself to strangers

 

                                    And sure enough

                                    Gone beserk most gently

                                    my fingers stroll down arteries

 

                                    cradle you like a machine gun

 

                                    And applying even, gentle pressure

                                    I mow down everyone

 

                                    All along the unsuspecting streets of your love

                                    blood flows

OUT OF PRINT

Murders in the Welcome Café. Vehicule Press, 1977

 

A poetic whodunnit about grace, poetry, life in a Chandleresque hardboiled tone.

 

                                Chapter Two

                                ?

                                

                                ...

                                The WELCOME CAFE

                                                                          waits

                               for eager victims who are

                               hungry

 

                                           for their own delicacy

 

                               here it is;

 

 

 

 

Soon to be back IN PRINT (revised & accompanied by a video)

 

 

OUT OF PRINT

Szerbusz, Eldorado Editions, Davinci Press, 1974

 

First book. "Szerbusz" means Hello and Goodbye in Hungarian. Poems about roots, exile and how you can never go home again. Written after the 2nd or 3rd time back.

 

                               said

 

                               you go back

                               knowing you can't

                               it's written, sad and believed

 

                               you stand on a corner

                               on a corner you sad next to you

                               in knee pants

                               with all the adventures ahead

                               (where else can they be?)

                               all the scrapes to be cried over

 

                               always wanting to be growing up

                               but there is time

                               that's been sad too

                               and now its sound is different

                               enclosing wrist and brain

 

                               you go back

                               touching corners

                               naming them as they should have been

                               sad

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