Istvan Bart, former director of CEU Press, passed away on June 27. Bart was a writer, translator and the doyen of Hungarian publishing.
Between 2001 and 2011, Bart was the director of CEU Press. During this time, he broadened the press’s original focus on Central and Eastern Europe to include publications on Russia, ex-Soviet countries, Central Asia, China, Arabic and Islamic studies and a variety of issues demonstrating a global outlook.
“Under Istvan Bart’s leadership, CEU Press successfully carved out a niche of its own in international academic publishing. He not only published a focused and curated offering of books, but also ensured that every text consistently met high academic standards. His contributions to CEU and to Hungarian publishing will be long remembered,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff.
During Bart’s tenure as director, CEU Press achieved greater visibility within the university and academic publishing world. He transformed CEU Press into the region’s leading academic English-language publisher. Istvan Bart also realized the importance and significance of electronic publishing, expanding the press’s 15 titles available in electronic format in 2001 to 150 titles by 2011.
“Istvan brought decades of experience as an author and publisher to CEU Press, transforming it into a regional leader in academic publishing. For ten years, the CEU community benefitted immensely from his unwavering passion for literature, history and global affairs,” said CEU Provost Liviu Matei.
Prior to joining CEU Press, Bart served as the director of Corvina publishing house for two decades.
Bart’s involvement with the world of letters extended beyond publishing. A successful novelist, Bart authored A boldogtalan sorsú Rudolf trónörökös (Unlucky Prince Rudolf) and Elemér utca három (Elemer Street Three). Bart also translated many British and American books into Hungarian, including works by Jack London, Muriel Spark, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Jonathan Franzen and F. Scott Fitzgerald.