The paper examines the presence and forms of autofiction in contemporary Hungarian literature. It does not contain a broad theoretical discussion of the genre, as I only aim to highlight some theoretical connections that can be specifically applied to Hungarian works. After a general description of the autofictive works published in the recent decades, three contemporary pieces shall be interpreted. The double narrative structure of Zsolt Láng’s novel Bolyai can be associated with several literary genres. In addition to autofiction, the codes of crime fiction play a prominent role in the work, and the combining and mixing of genres, narrative forms, and discursive modes also contribute to the complexity of the novel. The works of Imre Bartók and Andrea Tompa provoke the expectations concerning the genre of autofiction in a subversive manner. Bartók has already experimented with the possibilities of autobiography and autofiction in his previous novel (Jerikó épül), and his „failure-novel”, Lovak a folyóban also ironically and parodistically uses various narrative forms, popular and high-brow genres. Its autofictive element also falls victim to the satirical reflection on literature as a whole. Andrea Tompa subverts autobiographical facts for a completely distinct purpose and in a different way in her novel Haza. At the centre of the novel we can find questions about the concept of homeland, emigration, homelessness, language, mother tongue and translatability. Vital tools of representation such as omission, concealment, and erasure also render any autofictional approach impossible.
The self-definition of Szilárd Borbély’s only novel – limited fiction based on biographical elements – makes biographical and referential readings possible, thus we can interpret the text as the novel of 20th century poverty and traumatised childhood. However, the aspects of interpretation are concerned with the methods of fiction, the existential and metaphysical questions of the book: the child narrator’s tone offers the vision of a childhood rolling in an eternal present. This, together with the amnesia that interweaves the whole text, suggests a hopeless state of being. The feelings of otherness and solitariness, the signs of the absurdity of waiting for a Messiah and the representation of misery expand to an antrophological stance. New meanings can be attributed to the image of desperate human existence by the motif of prime numbers. The novels of Péter Esterházy, Sándor Tar and Tibor Noé Kiss are also discussed in connection with the representation of poverty and teodicea.