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Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948 Paperback – March 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-9639241107 ISBN-10: 9639241105

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A chronicle of political, social, and also spiritual change in the capital as the Communist Party tightened its grip on all phases of life ... the forced propinquity of the tall, elegant Middle European who spent his free time absorbed in Spengler's Decline of the West with Russian, Kirghiz, and Buryat peasant boys was an eye-opener to both sides." --Review 1

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Hungarian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Central European University Press (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9639241105
  • ISBN-13: 978-9639241107
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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The translation by Albert Tezla is an excellent one which captures the author's spirit and style.
Robert T. OKEEFFE
Marai gives the reader a keen sense of the humiliation Hungarians felt in living under Nazi and then Soviet domination.
jgranvi@clemson.edu
As anyone who has read Embers will know Marai is a very gifted writer and this memoir is an absolute delight to read.
M. J. Holland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 94 people found the following review helpful By jgranvi@clemson.edu on January 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Johanna Granville, Clemson University, Clemson, SC USA. Sandor Marai's Memoir of Hungary (1944-1948) provides an interesting glimpse of post World War II Hungary under Soviet occupation. Like other memoirs by Hungarian writers and statesmen, it was first published in the West, because it could not be published in the Hungary of the post-1956 Kadar era.[1]Marai authored forty-six books, mostly novels, and was considered one of Hungary's most influential representatives of middle class literature between the two world wars by literary critics. He sought his true identity both in his profession and through a geographic attachment: first to Hungary, then to Europe, and finally to the West. He decided to leave his homeland in September 1948. The English version of the memoir was published posthumously; Marai took his own life in 1989, the same year that he was awarded the prestigious Kossuth Prize, Hungary's highest award for literature.[2] Whether or not Marai intended it, this memoir makes the reader wonder what influenced Marai to commit suicide, despite his literary success. Was it due to the bleak environment of Soviet-occupied Hungary, emigration from his homeland, or the inner dreams of a sensitive and expressive man? Written in the first person, this book has certain strengths that are absent from secondary works. Marai gives the reader a keen sense of the humiliation Hungarians felt in living under Nazi and then Soviet domination. Marai also entertains as a diarist, and later generalizes about his experiences in a way that endears him to his readers. Like a good playwright, he engages the audience on several levels, but none better than the homesick artist who, ironically, had grown sick of home.Read more ›
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Holland on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful memoir set in Hungary covering the last days of World War II and the gradual take over of power by the communists.The memoir ends in 1948 when Marai left his homeland for good.

As anyone who has read Embers will know Marai is a very gifted writer and this memoir is an absolute delight to read.It is full of brilliant insights and perhaps gives the reader a better idea of what life was like in an East European city in the post war era compared to historical studies.I particulary enjoyed the sections in the book where he recounts his dealings with the Russian soldiers who "liberated" Hungary.

There is only one sadness attached to this book and that is that Marai has only the 3 books available in English.He was a prolific author and if Embers,Converstaions in Bolzano and this memoir are anything to go by he is a writer of great quality and I would gladly read anything he has written.So come on publishers show a bit of initiative and get more of this great twentieth century Hungarian writer into translation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert T. OKEEFFE on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "Memoir" covers a four year period out of some forty years during which Marai, the prominent and praiseworthy Hungarian novelist, kept a journal. At present it is the only portion of this long-running commentary which has been published in English. The translation by Albert Tezla is an excellent one which captures the author's spirit and style. The four years in question are those which proved to be a major historical turning point for Hungary and a bitter and deeply personal turning point for the author.

What happened during those four years?
Read more ›
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I cannot improve on the review below, but I can try to help by summarizing a few important points about this book. The reason why it gets five stars is the author's fascinating personal account of the Soviet Army's occupation of Budapest in 1944-1945 and of the cultural clash between Soviet soldiers and the Hungarian bourgeois. This makes up the first third of the book (113 pages). The other two-thirds of the book cover the aftermath of the destruction of Budapest, and the increasing Communist stranglehold on society ending in Marai's flight to Switzerland. These latter parts are not bad, but not as good; they sometimes drag a bit, with Marai tending to entwine himself in navel-gazing intellectual discourse from which a better editor might have rescued him.
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