Name: Laszlo Kontler
Title: Pro-Rector for Social Sciences, Humanities and Hungarian Affairs, Professor of History
Number of years at CEU: 26
(I'm sure this is puzzling: in my own reckoning, my CEU affiliation began as the assistant of Peter Hanak, the future founding chair of the History Department, in the context of the Soros Foundation-sponsored courses in 1989 at the IUC Dubrovnik where, to my knowledge, "Central European University" as a project was first discussed publicly by a sizeable gathering of academics and intellectuals. Formally, I have been a faculty member since 1992, when the MA program in history was launched.)
Home city/town & country: Budapest
What’s your favorite Hungarian food?
Goulash (cooked in a cauldron on open fire - by myself)
Whose works of art or design have had the greatest impression on you?
Etruscan miniatures, Ghirlandaio, Gainsborough, Miro
What’s your favorite language, whether you speak it or not?
Italian (I have some reading knowledge; I do not really speak it, but whenever I try, the locals are so pleased that they express eloquently all the things I wanted to. How could I not love the language?)
What’s your hidden skill or talent?
Being a vain person, I try not to hide my skills. But cf. the reply to the food question.
What’s your favorite quote or idiom?
"In order for us to love our country, it must be loveable." (Edmund Burke, 1790)
What do you like to do best on Sundays?
Depends on the particular Sunday!
Which is your favorite building, park, museum, or public spot in Budapest?
All of it. If I had to choose, Monument Building ... what else?
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I am an Epicurean. I mean, I take my pleasures seriously and can vouchsafe that none of them are guilty.
What is your favorite or most visited website or blog?
Name one adventure you’d like to have:
Rounding Tierra del Fuego