MA and the Rupture of the Avant-garde 1917–18: Reconstructing Aesthetic and Political Conflict in Hungary and the Role of Periodical Culture

  • Eszter Balázs researcher of Kassák Museum, Budapest assistant prof, Kodolányi University of Applied Arts


The first major quarrel and the subsequent secession in the Hungarian avant-garde in 1917-1918 had a long lasting impact on radical modernity and even on the entire Hungarian leftist intellectual and cultural life in Hungary and beyond. This article provides a critical examination of this early and decisive controversy in the avant-garde journal MA (To-day), edited in Budapest, leading to its split into aesthetic and political sides since 1917-1918. It highlights some of the most important issues, such as its main actors, the debated subjects, the arenas in which this controversy took place, as well as the question of its audiences. Also it focuses on its protracted afterlife as well as on historical narratives and their omissions.