In July, Deborah Eisenberg published a review of the Hungarian writer's newly translated book of fiction and essays. One of the essays, "Homecoming," includes musings by the author after early successes as a writer:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
These torments increased to the point where after the execution of a few polished short stories, not only did I become dissatisfied with my sentences, but I also felt the punctuation of my sentences was invalid and false. Commas and periods, dashes and question marks: they were all false. I found paragraphs even more repulsive. . . .
I felt I was putting punctuation marks here or there because that's how others were doing it, without comprehending their relation to me; so my marks had only a global meaning but no personal value. And the more faithfully I served this consensually accepted global sense, the more I distanced myself from my personal requirements.
In other words, language was speaking him.