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HU 1987
Századvégi történet

Iván Sándor, Századvégi történet(An End of Century Story)

Novel, 229 pages (Hungary, 1987)

The turn of the century in question here is specifically the late eighteenth century, but metaphorically the novel reflects the disillusioned, autumnal mood of wearisomeness that tends to be associated with any fin-de-sičcle. Thus it could be said to be both a historical novel and a novel about history. It is set in the area of East-Central Europe a region that strives to hold itself in the middle but often finds itself being pushed by circumstances to the east. More specifically, the action is divided between the palaces of the nobility in Vienna, Cracow and Pest-Buda, as it was called when there were still two cities facing each other across the Danube, before they were administratively united in 1873. From another angle, the reader is shuttled between the planes of consciousness of the two main protagonists. A member of the Hungarian Royal Bodyguards falls in love with a Polish princess, who is married to an Austrian government official, so that the affair might easily have political repercussions. That love story is only the background to the novel however; what truly excited the novelist's interest is the aesthetic rendering and authentic narration of that uncertain, unstable sense of the world. Both the Hungarian noble and the Polish princess are narrators of the story, so that reality (or what we think of as reality) is, from the outset, related and commented on from at least two points of view. Reality is rounded out by dreams, the reveries of the half-asleep state, and outright nightmares, fugitive memories and sudden presentiments In the world of this novel, the weather, monotonous rainfall and wind squalls, billowing fogs and momentary bursts of sunshine, all have important roles to play. Tormented, impetuous nervous states, tense political situations, constant uncertainty, permanent flitting about between the centres of an empire that maybe never was and yet was. That is what makes this a fin-de-sičcle story as well.

Kritiken / Reviews:

reviews still to come

More works of this writer:

Arabeszk (Arabesque)
Követés (Legacy)
Drága Liv (Dear Liv)
Az Argoliszi-öböl. Roman (Working Title: The Argolian Gulf)
Az éjszaka mélyén (The Lives of Adam K.)

<-- Iván Sándor