The Magyar Bazár (1866–1904) and the Literary Salon Hosted by the Wohl Sisters in Budapest

  • Zsolt Mészáros

Abstract

Cultural and media studies research of the past decades has emphasized the relationship between women’s literary salons and the periodical press, as well as the connection between conversation and publishing. In line with these approaches I examine the Magyar Bazár [Hungarian Bazar] (1866–1904), the most popular fashion magazine of the end of the nineteenth century in Hungary. The editors of Magyar Bazár were two sisters, Janka (1843–1901) and Stephanie Wohl (1846–89), who both had a widereaching erudition and internationally acknowledged reputation. They published articles in their mother tongue for the Hungarian press, as well as in German, French, and English for European journals (Revue internationale, the Scotsman, the Queen, Der Bazar), and published books with foreign publishers. Besides their work as writers, editors and journalists, the Wohl sisters hosted a literary salon in Budapest. This salon became the favourite meeting place of contemporary intellectuals, artists, and politicians — many of them also from abroad. In this article, I present the Wohl sisters’ rich oeuvre (as writers, editors, and translators) by interpreting their salon as the place of cultural and intellectual exchanges, and the site of creativity and networking. I will examine how social life and editorial work were connected in the production of their journal. I will demonstrate the interrelations of the Wohl sisters’ salon and the Magyar Bazár by placing these into their transnational and cross-cultural context.

Published
2021-07-01