A cenzúra esztétikája [The Velvet Prison] [by] Haraszti, Miklós


A cenzúra esztétikája [The Velvet Prison] [by] Haraszti, Miklós


  • Political essay
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Release date: 1986
  • Publisher: AB Független, Budapest
  • Pages: 87
  • Samizdat edition

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A cenzúra esztétikája [The Velvet Prison] [by] Haraszti, Miklós
Budapest, 1986. AB Független. 87 [3] p. First Edition.
Publishing paperback. Cover designed by László Rajk. In good condition. Hungarian samizdat edition. Printed in 1200 copies.

Haraszti, a Hungarian poet, editor, and sociologist, has emerged as a leading East European dissident. His A Worker in a Worker’s State  dealt with the plight of the average worker; this new study considers the consequences of being a creative person in a suppressive state. Haraszti’s theme is state control of culture and the “culture of censorship” that results. He details the subtle methods by which art and criticism are co-opted and the artist supports the system through self-censorship. This haunting essay provides an antidote to the cheerful glasnost policy of Gorbachev.  The book has been published in German (Die Staatskünstler; 1985) and in English too in 1987.

Miklós Haraszti (1945-, Jerusalem) is a Hungarian writer, journalist, human rights advocate and university professor. He served the maximum of two terms as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media from 2004 to 2010. Currently he is Adjunct Professor at the School of International & Public Affairs of Columbia Law School, New York and visiting professor at the Central European University (CEU), Department of Public Policy. Haraszti studied philosophy and literature at Budapest University. In 1976 he co-founded the Hungarian Democratic Opposition Movement and in 1980 he became editor of the samizdat periodical Beszélő. In 1989, Haraszti participated in the “roundtable” negotiations on transition to free elections. A member of the Hungarian Parliament from 1990–1994, he then moved on to lecture on democratization and media politics at numerous universities. Haraszti’s books include A Worker in a Worker’s State and The Velvet Prison, both of which have been translated into several languages. In 2012, Haraszti was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

László Rajk

Graphic: László Rajk (1949), a practicing architect, production designer, professor in production desing at the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest, and known also as a former dissident, human rights activist. As an architect and freelance artist became the member of the Hungarian avantgarde movement and the Hungarian Democratic Opposition in the seventies. In 1981 co-founded the underground AB Publishing House, and ran an illegal bookstore in his apartment called “Samizdat Boutique”.

In Communist régimes the publication of many material were illegal and therefor underground publishings and secret ways of spreading of “samizdat” books developed. Samizdat editions, mostly political pamphlets, appeared in Hungary in the 1970s in the poor form of carbon copies of typescripts. Later in the 80s the so-called Democratic Opposition in Hungary established semi-underground publishings, like “AB Független” to publish not merely political literature but also literature that was banned by the Communist politics.


Additional information

Weight 450 g
Dimensions 14.3 × 20.3 cm


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