Kazohinia is a novel written (1935-1957) in Esperanto and again in Hungarian (1941, 1946?, 1957, 1972) by Sándor Szathmári. It appeared first in Hungarian and was later published in Esperanto by SAT (Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda) in 1958, and was republished without change in 1998. An English translation appeared in 1975.
The Hinns are a people who have solved all economic problems: Production and usage of goods is based on need instead of money, the standard of living is very high. They live without any kind of government or administrative body, as their belief is that such would only hinder production. They lead their lives according to the pure reality of existence they call kazo. They experience no emotions, love, beauty or spiritual life.
There are two different main interpretations of the intentions of the author:
The protagonist, bored with the inhuman life of the Hinns, chooses to live among the insane Behinns, who reportedly conform better to his outlook on life. He hopes that in the Behinns, living in a walled-off area, he will meet humans with human feelings, similar to himself.
The Behinns however have a totally insane society, where living conditions are supported by the ruling Hinns, while they themselves are preoccupied with senseless ceremonies and stupid fights. Everything is arranged according to irreality, while among the Hinns everything is arranged according to reality. While among the Behinns, the protagonist suffers hunger, extreme misery and even danger of death. This part of the novel is in fact satire, with each insanity of the Behinns translating to facets of the western, Christian society of the protagonist such as war, religion, etiquette, art and philosophy. To further emphasize the satire, the protagonist doesn't see the obvious parallels between his homeland and the Behinn world, but the writer outlines it by giving the same sentences into the mouths of a Behinn leader and a British admiral, replacing only the Behinn words on ideals and religion with their English counterparts. The Behinns are indeed "real" humans, but as their symbols and customs differ from his own, the protagonist sees them as mere savage madmen.
Humor contrasts the serious content in a masterful way, giving for an easy read. While the first half of the book, describing the Hinns, is a utopia, and uses humor to lighten the mood and maintain interest, the second half, that about the Behinn society, switching style for satire, wields humor as a merciless weapon, debunking and ridiculing every aspect of our irrational world. Languagewise the word usage is suitable even when the reader is swamped in an abundance of neologisms with which the Hinns and the Behinns refer to their strange notions and concepts of life.
There is some dispute as to whether Szathmári wrote the novel first in Hungarian or in Esperanto. Reportedly, he first began writing it in Hungarian, but rewrote and finished it in Esperanto. When Literatura Mondo, which had accepted it, went out of business due to the beginning of the Second World War, he rewrote or translated it into Hungarian, and it was published in that language during the Second World War. But others have claimed that the Hungarian version is the true original, and cite as proof that Szathmári did not have truly fluent command of Esperanto when he first wrote the novel.
Kazohinia (Vojaĝo al Kazohinio) is considered one of the main original novels in Esperanto. Kálmán Kalocsay said of Vojaĝo al Kazohinio', - "the book is insidious"; William Auld puts Szathmári's work on the same level with Swift, John Wells, Anatole France; Michel Duc Goninaz finds that reading Szathmári is a "powerful stimulus to thought"; Vilmos Benczik pins down Szathmári's work with the expression "sobering humanism".
“Karinthy was a spirtual father to me” — Dezső Keresztury cites Szathmári in the Afterword to Kazohina. Also Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is mentioned, although “I wrote Kazohinia two years before Brave New World appeared. I could not have imitated it more perfectly if I had tried. Anyway, it was my good fortune that it was conceived two years earlier, because there are so many similarities between the two that I would never have made so bold as to write Kazohinia had I read Brave New World first” — as the Afterword cites the author again (both citings can be found in the English translation available online).